Bogus 'doctor' claimed to treat 7/7 victims

A "doctor" who claimed to have helped in the 7/7 aftermath was today revealed to be a liar.

Richmal Oates-Whitehead was working as an editorial clinical director for the publication BMJ Knowledge - based at BMA House next to where the No 30 bus was blown up.

She landed the job by claiming she had a medical degree and had been a doctor for 15 years.

But after press interviews following the terrorist atrocity it emerged she had lied about her background.

On August 8, just a month after 52 innocent people were killed in four blasts, her employers began an investigation into her background.

Only nine days later she was found dead.

Today, the 7/7 inquests at London's High Court heard the statement she made following the attacks.

She said she had been a doctor for 15 years.

She was on the third floor of the BMA on 7/7 when she heard

an "enormous bang".

She went to the nearby County Hotel, which had become a makeshift field hospital, and helped treat about 12 injured people, she said.

But a police officer then asked her to board the devastated bus and help, she claimed.

She even claimed to have pronounced someone on board dead.

But the inquest heard nobody remembered seeing a woman matching her memorable description - wearing a pink top, purple skirt, red shoes and carrying a green stethoscope.

"I could see organs and body parts," she said.

"I remember seeing clearly a whole liver and what I believed to be four right arms."

Miss Oates-Whitehead helped evacuate victims and went to the BMA's courtyard where the most seriously injured were.

"I clearly remember a plane flying overhead and all of us looking up fearing the worst," she said.

Neil Saunders, a barrister for some of the Tavistock Square victims, said the Metropolitan Police established Miss Oates-Whitehead died from natural causes.

"There was no reference to a lady fitting her description on the bus,"

he said.

Dr David Tovey, BMJ Knowledge's editorial director, gave her the job.

The ex-GP of 14 years' standing said someone came to him with information about her past on August 5.

"It looked highly suspicious she didn't have a medical degree," he said."

He added: "We had early contact with Richmal at which she offered her resignation.

"We collected more information but hadn't discussed the findings with her," before she died.

Her former educational establishments confirmed she did not have a medical degree.

At the end of August 2005, the Sunday Telegraph reported Miss Oates-Whitehead moved to London in 2001 and began calling herself a doctor.

In 2002 she started signing her e-mails as an epidemiologist, the paper

said, but she was working as a clinical effectiveness coordinator at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in London.

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