Controversial child expert wins right to return to work

British lawyer Sally Clark makes a statement to the media after winning an appeal against her conviction for the murder of her two sons in this file photo from January 1, 2003/REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) - A paediatrician who falsely accused the husband of jailed solicitor Sally Clark of murdering their children has been given permission to return to child protection work, the General Medical Council said on Sunday.

In 2004 David Southall was found guilty and suspended for three years after he made the accusation in 2000 after watching a television interview with Stephen Clark following his wife’s 1999 conviction.

The suspension was extended for another year in 2007, but a GMC panel has ruled that the current restrictions imposed on Southall should now be lifted.

“The Panel has determined your fitness to practise is not impaired and to revoke the conditions currently imposed on your registration with immediate effect,” said a GMC statement.

In a separate case involving Southall the GMC struck off the paediatrician for serious professional misconduct in December 2007, following his false accusation that a woman drugged and killed her 10-year-old son.

However that suspension was overturned pending the outcome of a High Court appeal scheduled for January 2009.

Southall is currently the honorary medical director of Child Health Advocacy International charity where he works full-time, spending half his time in the UK and half his time abroad trying to improve healthcare in developing countries.

Sally Clark’s conviction was later quashed after evidence showed the children died naturally.

She was found dead at her home in March 2007, with a coroner ruling she had died accidentally after suffering acute alcohol intoxication.

Reporting by John Joseph; Editing by Charles Dick