Jurors in Patel retrial to be polled

Patel's defence team successfully argued that potential jurors could be swayed by the long-standing negative publicity surrounding the former Bundaberg surgeon.

Patel is facing charges relating to allegations that while director of surgery at the Bundaberg Base Hospital he unnecessarily removed the colon of a patient, Ian Vowles.

Defence Barrister Ken Fleming, QC, told a pre-trial hearing in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Thursday that while media coverage had dropped off since the last trial against Patel, negative reporting had been so extensive that jurors should be polled.

He said a lot of negative stories, including some which referred to his client as ‘Dr Death’ could still be readily found online.

A Google search of Dr Patel's name returned 1.3 million results, he said.

The prosecution did not oppose the application.

Justice Glenn Martin, QC, authorised the questioning of jurors and reserve jurors