Melbourne: Indian-origin 60-year-old surgeon Jayant Patel also labelled as "Dr Death" on Thursday lost an appeal against his conviction in an Australian court and was jailed over fatally messed up surgeries.

The judge while observing the case mentioned that "the case could hardly be graver".

The Court of Appeal in Brisbane by a unanimous decision rejected Patel's appeal against his sentence and also turned down a plea by the Queensland Attorney-General to increase his seven-year sentence.

Patel was not present in court for the announcement. He was convicted of bungled surgeries at Queensland Bundaberg Base hospital and sentenced to seven years in jail - of which he
must serve three-and-a-half years.

According to reports, Patel's lawyer Kerry Smith- Douglas said her client would be disappointed and his legal team would discuss whether to launch a High Court appeal.

She would be in touch with Patel, who is in Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre, to pass on the news.

"He's going to be very disappointed, as I am," she said, adding "He's holding up very well, he's a strong character and a decent man."

Following his conviction in July last year, six barristers had been involved in Patel's bid to appeal his three convictions for the manslaughter of James Phillips, Gerry Kemps and Mervyn Morris, who died following surgery performed by him at the Bundaberg Base Hospital between 2003 and 2005.

In an appeal hearing last month, Patel also fought against his conviction for grievous bodily harm of Ian Vowles, whose healthy bowel he removed in October 2004.

His lawyers claimed his trial was unfair and a miscarriage of justice had occurred and also argued his seven-year sentence was manifestally excessive.

However, lawyers for Queensland Attorney-General argued Patel's sentence was not long enough.

They wanted his seven-year sentence replaced with a 10-year term with a declaration he is a serious violent offender, which means he would have been made to serve 80 percent of his sentence.

In a 60-page judgment handed down this morning, Court of Appeal judges ruled against both sides, saying Patel's sentence was fair.

"In our view, the sentence imposed properly balances the exacerbating and mitigating features of this unique case," they wrote.

In dismissing the Attorney-General's appeal, judges said they were not persuaded   arguments had demonstrated any judicial error in the sentencing process.

They said the case was "notorious" and been a difficult matter for the courts as there were no other cases quite like it.

Agencies