UK court jails 85-year-old Nigerian doctor after admitting to killing patient
A Nigerian-born doctor who had previously been suspended in the UK for lying about his age was on Tuesday jailed after he admitted killing a patient in a botched diagnostic procedure.
Colleagues had thought Isyaka Mamman, 85, should have retired after he had twice made mistakes on similar procedures before the fatal incident in September 2018.
He admitted gross negligence manslaughter at a previous hearing in connection with the death of Shahida Parveen, at a hospital in northwest England.
Manchester Crown Court was told he used the wrong needle and inserted it in the wrong place as he tried to take a bone marrow sample.
Parveen died after the needle pierced her heart sac, causing massive internal bleeding.
Judge Amanda Yip jailed Mamman for three years and said the background to the case was “troubling” because of discrepancies about his age and two previous critical incidents in 2015.
She questioned why he was allowed to continue to work. “Sadly there were failings in the system,” she added.
Mamman qualified as a doctor in Nigeria in 1965, began work in the UK’s state-run National Health Service (NHS) in 1991, and joined the group which runs the Royal Oldham Hospital in 2004.
But the judge heard his “true age” was a matter of “controversy” because of a lack of formal birth registration in rural Nigeria where he was born.
He gave a date of birth during his medical training as September 16, 1936, meaning he started his course aged 21 and was 81 at the time of the offence.
But he originally told the NHS he was born in 1941, which suggested he was 16 when he began his medical training.
Around 2001, as he approached the then-compulsory retirement age of 65, Mamman gave a later date of birth — October 1947 — which he used in an application to become a naturalised British citizen.
That would have meant he began his medical degree at the age of 10.
The General Medical Council regulator found him guilty of serious professional misconduct in 2004 and suspended him for 12 months for lying about his age.
He was sacked but re-employed after being restored to the medical register, and there is now no mandatory retirement age for doctors.
Mamman is currently listed on the GMC medical register under the name Isyaka Mamman-Aka’aba and his licence to practise is suspended.
The hospital said after the case that it had admitted liability in relation to a civil claim brought by Parveen’s family.