Doctor who lied about his age admits killing mother-of-three during botched procedure

Dr Isyaka Mamman, 85, will be sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to gross negligence manslaughter

Published

A mother-of-three was killed at her hospital appointment by a doctor who botched a routine procedure, a court has heard.

Dr Isyaka Mamman, 85, had already been suspended once by medical watchdogs for lying about his age and was sacked but then re-employed by the Royal Oldham Hospital, where he was responsible for a series of critical incidents before the fatal appointment, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The Nigerian-born doctor had also used various dates of birth and left his previous job through “poor performance”.

Mamman, of Cumberland Drive, Royton, near Oldham, will be sentenced on Tuesday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to gross negligence manslaughter.

Royal Oldham Hospital
Royal Oldham Hospital

He was told by the judge to “prepare” himself to spend time in jail.

Shahida Parveen, 48, had gone to the hospital with her husband, Khizar Mahmood, for investigations into possible myeloproliferative disorder.

A bone marrow biopsy had been advised and the routine procedure was allocated to Mamman, who was working as a specialty doctor in haematology, Andrew Thomas QC, prosecuting, told the hearing.

Normally, bone marrow samples are taken from the hip bone but Mamman failed to obtain a sample at the first attempt.

Instead, he attempted a rare and “highly dangerous” procedure of getting a sample from Ms Parveen’s sternum – despite objections from the patient and her husband.

Mamman, using the wrong biopsy needle, missed the bone and pierced her pericardium, the sac containing the heart, causing massive internal bleeding.

Ms Parveen lost consciousness as soon as the needle was inserted, with her husband running from the room shouting: “He killed her.

“I told him to stop three times and he did not listen. He killed her.”

A crash team arrived but Ms Parveen was confirmed dead later the same day, September 3 2018.

Mamman qualified as a doctor in Nigeria in 1965 and had worked in the UK since 1991. From 2004 until the time of the fatal incident he was employed by the Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

But his “true age” is a matter of “controversy”, the court heard, as his birthplace in rural Nigeria had no system of birth registration.

During his medical training he gave a date of birth of September 16 1936, which meant that he was 21 years old when he began his medical training and 81 at the time of the fatal hospital incident.

But he knocked years off his age by adopting a birth date in 1941, provided to the NHS, suggesting he began his medical degree at the age of 16.

However, in about 2001 and approaching what was then the compulsory retirement age of 65, Mamman adopted an even later birth date – October 1947 – which he relied upon in an application for naturalisation as a British citizen – suggesting he started his degree course at the age of 10.

In 2004 he was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council and suspended for 12 months for lying about his age.

The Pennine Trust sacked him but then re-employed him in 2006, after he had been restored to the register by the GMC, who accepted his date of birth to be 1943 – which meant he was 14 or 15 when he began his medical degree.

Mamman had left his previous employment with the Medway Trust because of “poor performance”, and in 2015 a formal complaint was made to the Oldham hospital when a patient complained he used “excessive force” during a bone marrow biopsy.

The patient was told that Mamman was in his 70s and his colleagues thought he should retire but they could not dismiss him purely because of his age.

She was assured he would be put on light duties in future.

However the same year there was another clinical incident which resulted in serious injury to another patient, again during a bone marrow biopsy, and again involving a needle being inserted in the wrong place.

The patient survived but has been left permanently disabled.

Michael Hayton, mitigating, said it was clear Mamman was a “failing” doctor and he should not have been allowed to continue treating patients.

He added: “He is not the only person at fault. He should not have been allowed to be in the position he was.

“There’s a grotesque catalogue of failings by the trust from 2015.”

The hearing was adjourned until Tuesday morning.