A SURGEON jailed for lying about his qualifications had been cleared to work as a consultant despite "damning statements" from several colleagues, an inquest into the deaths of three of his patients has heard.

Worcestershire Coroner's Court was told fears that Sudip Sarker was a "pathological liar" who "should not be allowed anywhere near a patient" had been raised even before he completed his training in colorectal surgery.

The first day of the inquest also heard Sarker had threatened legal action before being approved as a qualified surgeon by a health service training body in 2009.

Sarker, 48, was given a six-year sentence at Worcester Crown Court in February after being convicted of fraud which secured him a job at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

The former £84,000-a-year consultant was taken to the inquest in Stourport in a prison van, and allowed to ask questions of a witness who outlined the system used to assess trainee surgeons.

During the witness's evidence, coroner Geraint Williams told the court "grave concerns" had been raised by five health professionals after Sarker began his training in Essex in the early 2000s.

Mr Williams said the concerns - raised before Sarker was recommended for certification as a surgeon - included a letter to a regulatory body describing him as "a lost cause" who could not "become a reliable surgeon".

The inquest was told that the "probity issue" also extended to a claim that Sarker was "the most dangerous sort of trainee" because he lacked insight.

In comments at the start of the inquest, which is scheduled to last up to four weeks, Mr Williams said he got the impression the certificate given to Sarker at the end of his training had "just been rubber-stamped".

The coroner said of the previous concerns: "These are words in the strongest of terms by a number of people over a number of years.

"And yet Mr Sarker is allowed to continue, as far as I can see, with no one picking up that these are worrying things.

"The overall sense I get from the papers is that this is a man who has manipulated all along. If things are not going well for Mr Sarker he complains about supervisors and threatens legal action."

During the first day of the inquest, Sarker claimed to have been diagnosed with dyslexia in 2015 and was ticked off for "boasting" about his CV.

Mr Williams told Sarker: "The evidence is clear that your CV is not accurate - you are a convicted criminal for fraud. That document is not going to be relied upon."

The inquest, examining the deaths of William Jones, 84, Daphne Taylor, 81, and Jean Thomas, 80, continues.