'Dr Death' Patel's appeal postponed over being too broke to pay lawyer

Melbourne, Sept 21 (ANI): The appeal of Indian-origin doctor in Australia, Jayant Patel, against his convictions for killing and maiming his patients has been postponed till next year because of his inability to pay his lawyers' fee.

The former Bundaberg Base Hospital chief surgeon was jailed for seven years in July after he was convicted by a Supreme Court jury of three counts of manslaughter and one of grievous bodily harm.

Sixty-year-old Patel, lodged an appeal against his conviction and sentence on the basis that the verdicts were unreasonable and his sentence was manifestly excessive, which was to be heard by the Court of Appeal in Brisbane in November.

However, during a hearing in the court today, his lawyer Michael Woodford sought to have the November 3 appeal de-listed due to shortage of funds and that a change in legal representation would be difficult for Patel.

"No counsel will be able to get on top of this (three-month trial) in the space of a month," the Herald Sun quoted Woodford, as saying.

The charges related to Patel's time as director of surgery at Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

The appeal has now been set for early next year, but no date has been fixed so far.Patel would reportedly appear in court for a mention on October 15 if a solution is not found in the meantime. (ANI)

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