A DOCTOR cleared in the High Court after wrongly being found guilty of misconduct over the MMR controversy, has said his ordeal was like ‘something from a Franz Kafka novel’.

Professor John Walker-Smith, 75, of Monkhams Drive in Woodford Green, had been found guilty of professional misconduct in May 2010 following claims he took part in unapproved research that suggested links between the MMR vaccine, bowel disease and autism.

He was cleared in the High Court two years later and he has now updated his autobiography, ‘Enduring Memories’ which contains a new chapter detailing his eight year fight to clear his name.

He said: “The General Medical Council hearing was the longest ever held and I spent more time giving evidence than any doctor ever has.

“I felt I had the mark of Cain on my head. It was an utterly terrible time for me and my family.

“The hearing was Kafkaesque, and I have called the new chapter ‘The Trial’ because it felt like I was in that nightmarish world for much of the time.”

Professor Walker-Smith always maintained he was investigating children’s symptoms in order to help them and not conducting research to prove a link between the MMR jab and autism.

He said: “I had lots of support from colleagues but everything they said about me seemed to be disregarded by the panel.

“I was never committed to saying there was a definite link between MMR and autism, although I did say it was a possibility.

“I even released a press statement at the time of the controversy saying I supported the government’s policy on MMR.”

Prof Walker-Smith’s name was eventually cleared in March this year, when a High Court judge overturned the GMC’s ruling.

“It was marvellous when they cleared me,” said Dr Walker-Smith. 

“I felt at last justice has been done and I can just get on with my life.

“Writing about it was a traumatic experience, because the GMC hearing was like being in a torture chamber at times and, for a man in his 70s, it was also exhausting.

“But getting it all down on paper has been very therapeutic for me.”

He is now studying for an MA in Christianity and the Arts at Kings College in London.

And he said: “One of the positive things to emerge from the whole thing is that it kept my grey matter cells in good order.

“I am enjoying my studies and getting on with life again.”

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