Disgraced pathologist reprimanded for failures
Disgraced pathologist Charles Smith was reprimanded by The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario on Friday in a harshly worded reprimand of his "repulsive" transgressions.
The fiver-person panel issued a statement accusing the former doctor of doing irreparable harm to a number of innocent victims, in regards to a series of overturned convictions based on Smith's faulty testimony as a child pathologist.
He did not appear in person to receive the reprimand on Friday. A statement read by the panel said Smith acted as an advocate during court appearances and not as an unbiased medical professional providing evidence.
"Your transgressions were egregious in nature, repulsive in result, and caused irreparable harm to many innocent victims," panel chairman Marc Gabel said.
"You had a duty to the public, to the administration of justice and to your profession. Your failure in all of these respects is abominable to this panel, to your fellow physicians and, as importantly, to the public."
Smith was once considered the dean of pediatric forensic pathology in Canada, with his evidence leading to the prosecution of more than a dozen people over the years.
Most of those convictions have since been overturned, after Ontario's chief coroner ordered a review into 44 of Smith's cases and determined he made errors in nearly half of them.
Most of those convictions have since been overturned, while the rest are being appealed.
He was stripped of his medical licence last month, after pleading no contest to charges of disgraceful conduct.
Most recently, Tammy Marquardt of Oshawa had her conviction quashed after spending 14 years in prison charged with killing her son. She had been found guilty based on faulty evidence provided by Smith.
Marquardt attended Friday's hearing and said she was disappointed Smith did not appear in person.
"We all knew he wasn't going to show," she told reporters. "He's not man enough to stand up and take what's due to him."
In its reprimand, the college said Smith failed to gather relevant information and conduct appropriate investigations, as well as offering unscientific and unsubstantiated opinions.
Justice Stephen Goudge issued a damning 1,000-page report into Smith's work in 2008. Smith told a public inquiry at that time that his errors were not intentional.
Smith has not practised medicine since August 2008, when his registration expired.
With files from The Canadian Press