Children’s doctor, 37, who forged letters claiming she was in a rush to carry out ‘life-saving surgery’ so she could dodge speeding points is struck off

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By Ketrin Agustine

  • Mother-of-two Jodi Lestner, 37, from Cardiff, faced six points on her licence 

A children’s doctor who forged letters claiming she was in a rush to perform ‘life-saving’ transplant operations in order to dodge speeding points has been struck off. 

Mother-of-two Jodi Lestner, 37, from Cardiff, faced six points after twice being caught speeding on the M6 motorway.

But requesting a new court hearing she forged letters from ambulance services and a doctor’s note citing ‘special reasons’ to keep her licence clean.

In a series of official looking documents presented to a court, Lestner claimed she was part of an emergency team travelling between hospitals for ‘life-saving surgery.’

She was exposed as a fraud after police sought to verify the documents during an investigation and officials at the North West and West Midlands ambulances services and a GP all confirmed they were fake.

Children’s doctor, 37, who forged letters claiming she was in a rush to carry out ‘life-saving surgery’ so she could dodge speeding points is struck off

Mother-of-two Jodi Lestner, 37, faced six points after twice being caught speeding on the M6 motorway

When police tried to quiz Lestner, the paediatrician provided a further forged letter falsely claiming she had been admitted to hospital having gone into premature labour. 

During the probe she was caught speeding a third time.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Lestner, who qualified in 2010 and who worked at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct.

Lestner declined to attend the hearing in Manchester, which was told she had also faked a medical professor’s signature so she could to get herself a glowing job appraisal during her paediatric training.

In a separate incident she forged a doctor’s note to delay the outcome of a unsuccessful county court dispute involving her property business by falsely claiming she had been admitted to a neuro-intensive care unit for ‘urgent and on-going medical care.’

Lestner’s downfall began after she was clocked travelling at 62mph in a 50mph zone on the M6 in Cheshire on March 20, 2018 and then at 53mph in a 40mph zone on the A51 at Hill Chorlton, near Newcastle-under-Lyme, on August 23, 2018.

She was subsequently convicted of speeding in her absence and received three points for each offence – but she then contacted North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court for a new hearing where she argued there were ‘special reasons’ why her licence should remain clean.

The hearing was told Lestner, then of Solihull, presented various faked documents before the court including a fake doctor’s letter saying she was driving as part of her employment between two hospitals in ‘the transplant retrieval system.’

It was not disclosed whether she succeeded in her application to have the points removed but police began investigating and discovered the letters she provided were fake and the signatures forged.

When confronted with the truth Lestner blamed her bipolar disorder and a form of psychosis which she said ‘can lead to bizarre behaviour.’

In a statement she said: ‘I panicked and wrote forged documents to submit to the police. I understand the seriousness of this action and that it was wrongful and showed a serious lack of judgement. I was not truthful during this interview and my actions were out of character.

‘Prior to this I have never done anything like this. I understand the seriousness of the charges brought against me and I reiterate that I am sincerely remorseful for my actions in my failure to be honest and compliant with the police and the court.’

In a series of official looking documents presented to a court, Lestner claimed she was part of an emergency team travelling between hospitals for 'life-saving surgery'

In a series of official looking documents presented to a court, Lestner claimed she was part of an emergency team travelling between hospitals for ‘life-saving surgery’

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Lestner, who qualified in 2010 and who worked at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service, Lestner, who qualified in 2010 and who worked at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct

Counsel for the GMC Ms Georgina Goring said: ‘Dr Lestner engaged in three episodes of dishonest behaviour, all of a similar nature, involving a degree of pre-mediation and planning to falsify documents.

‘One was in her professional setting and involved deliberate and conscious decisions to formulate positive comments about her performance. For the conviction, she had used her knowledge and position as a doctor to bolster her deception towards the police.

‘There was also an absence of insight or remediation in relation to a county court letter. Her dishonesty was repeated, of a persistent nature and serious.’

In erasing Lestner’s name from the medical register MPTS chairman Miss Annie Hockaday said: ‘This is not a case of one moment of bad judgment or bad choice while in a stressful clinical situation.

‘The three events were of a similar nature because they constituted three episodes of using deliberately falsified documents to practice a deliberate deception on an authority.

‘The nature of this misconduct, coupled with an absence of evidence from Dr Lestner, led the Tribunal to determine that it was impossible to conclude that there was no risk of repetition in the future, or that the risk was so small as to be acceptable.

‘It was also impossible to have grounds for optimism about her ability to comply with proper professional standards in the future.’

She added: ‘It is a sadness to lose an otherwise good clinician from the profession, but the reputation of the profession as a whole is more important than any individual doctor.

‘The Tribunal determined that Dr Lestner, through her three episodes of dishonesty, had seriously undermined public confidence in the profession and had brought the profession into disrepute. Erasure is necessary to repair public confidence in the profession and to promote and maintain proper professional standards.’

She was sentenced in 2020 under her married name of Jodi Parikh to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months after she admitted perverting the course of justice. She was then referred to the General Medical Council. 

At her crown court hearing at Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs in February 2020, Lestner was also ordered to complete 120 hours unpaid work and pay £1,200 in costs.

At the time Judge Paul Glenn told her: ‘You are a highly intelligent individual and a high achiever and your devious conduct beggared belief. There is also an element of you thinking that you were above the law but I hope you now realise that is not the case.

‘Your conduct was persistent, it showed some sophistication and you made use of your professional knowledge and forged official looking letters to cover up the offences. 

‘You are said to be ashamed and remorseful and, heaven knows, you should be. You have wasted an awful amount of time of the police, the courts and other professionals.’

Manchester

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