The family of a man killed by a locum doctor who spoke no English have attacked the European Court of Human Rights for blocking his extradition.
David Gray, 70, was given 10 times the recommended dose of painkiller diamorphine by out-of-hours doctor Daniel Ubani.
Mr Gray died at his Manea home just three hours after the lethal injection in February 2008 and a coroner ruled he was unlawfully killed.
Germany-based Dr Ubani, 67, blamed the mistake on tiredness as he had only flown into the UK the night before.
But the stand-in doctor was later accused of the mistreatment of two other patients.
He returned to Germany where prosecutors gave him a ‘penal order’ and nine month suspended sentence and a €5,000 fine in April 2009.
Mr Gray’s devastated family said that was not enough and launched a campaign to extradite him to the UK for a new trial.
They appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2009 - arguing their father’s “right to life” had been violated. They claimed their evidence wasn’t heard and Dr Ubani’s trial in Germany had not resulted in the appropriate justice.
Their claim was rejected by the ECHR but the family refused to give up and launched an appeal.
But on Thursday their challenge was rejected by a judge who ruled that the family “had been sufficiently informed of the proceedings in Germany”.
The victim’s son, Dr Stuart Gray, 54, said he was “bitterly disappointed” at the decision not to extradite the doctor.
The father-of-two, who is a GP in the West Midlands, said: “It is quite incredible how they seem to have been unable to carry out an investigation in Germany without informing us of what is going on.”
He added: “We don’t know how we will proceed until we have had a chance to sit down and review the court’s decision.”
Dr Gray’s brother, Rory, 49, branded Dr Ubani’s prosecution and subsequent sentence was a “joke”. He says the GP was never questioned and never stood trial for the crime.
The penal order listed the lesser charge of causing death by medical negligence and his sentence. Dr Ubani did not contest the order and never attended court.
Mr Gray said: “A lot of the things on the order were wrong. They didn’t even have the right drug listed.
“I mean it is clearly, utterly meaningless. People will see this ruling and think it has been investigated properly but it hasn’t.
“It is an extremely dangerous decision and will cost people lives I’m sure of it.”
In 2010 an inquest ruled that Mr Gray was unlawfully killed by the fatal overdose and found that Dr Ubani had confused the morphine with a different drug.
The hearing, in Wisbech, suggested Dr Ubani had also inappropriately treated at least two other patients.
Coroner William Morris described Mr Gray’s death as “gross negligence and manslaughter” and said Dr Ubani was “incompetent”.
Dr Ubani faced the lesser charge of causing death by medical negligence in Germany. He was banned from practicing in the UK but has been able to continue working as a plastic surgeon in Germany because doctors there are licensed by their local council.
Handing down her judgement last week, Judge Ann Power-Forde said: “The patient’s sons complained that the authorities in Germany, where the doctor was tried and convicted of having caused the death by negligence, had not provided for an effective investigation into their father’s death.
“The court accepted that the German trial court had sufficient evidence available to it for the doctor’s conviction by penal order without having held a hearing.
“Moreover, the applicants had been sufficiently informed of the proceedings in Germany, and the German authorities had been justified in not extraditing the doctor to the United Kingdom in view of the proceedings before the German courts.”