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Optometrist convicted of causing death by dangerous driving

A Suffolk-based practitioner has received an erasure order from the General Optical Council following a collision that caused the death of his friend

11 Oct 2019 by Selina Powell

A Suffolk-based optometrist has received an erasure order from the General Optical Council (GOC) following a conviction for causing death by dangerous driving.

A GOC fitness to practise committee decision described how Jignesh Patel was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for the offence in March 2018 and disqualified from driving for three and a half years.

The accident that the conviction related to resulted in the death of Mr Patel’s friend, who was a passenger in the vehicle that he was driving.

Fitness to practise committee chair, Julia Wortley, said that the committee accepted Mr Patel had committed never to speed in a vehicle again.

“The committee also accepted that many people who know the registrant are prepared to work with him again and that those people appear to understand and forgive his actions,” she highlighted.

“However, the committee was of the view that the wider public would be very concerned that a professional optometrist had been convicted of such a serious offence, is still serving a sentence and is proposing to return to unrestricted practice,” Ms Wortley elaborated.

Mr Patel has until 24 October to appeal his erasure, during which time he is suspended from the register under an immediate suspension order.

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