A British surgeon who was trained in Scotland was killed during violent protests in South Africa, an inquest has heard. 

Kar Hao Teoh had been on holiday with his family in South Africa when he was fatally shot in the head.

It is believed that Dr Teoh took a wrong turn near the airport, when a group approached his vehicle and fatally shot him.

The surgeon worked in hospitals across the UK after graduating in medicine from the University of Edinburgh, most recently practising as a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex.

An inquest into the death, which was opened and adjourned in Chelmsford, Essex, on Thursday, heard that Mr Teoh died of gun shots to the head on 4 August. 

Michelle Brown, area coroner for Essex, said: "On August 4, this 40-year-old was on holiday in South Africa with his family when an unknown person approached the car and discharged a firearm, hitting him in the head."

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The outskirts of Cape Town had been experiencing unrest after a strike by minibus taxi drivers against a new law turned into violent protest. 

Ms Brown confirmed that Dr Teoh's body had been repatriated to Essex. She added: "The case will be adjourned off and will be heard at some point, depending on the time limits for the evidence to arrive from South Africa." The date for a full inquest hearing is to be confirmed.

The doctor began his successful medical career in Scotland - joining the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh following his graduation from the University of Edinburgh.

He also completed a postgraduate certificate at the University of Dundee. A spokesperson for the institution said: "This was incredibly tragic news. The University community wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to Mr Teoh’s family.”

His academic foundation years, where junior doctors work on research, were spent with NHS Lothian.

Dr Teoh then moved on to work around the UK, and in 2021 won an international prize for his research into the treatment of ankle fractures.

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A JustGiving page set up to support his wife and two-year-old son has raised more than £25,000.

The British Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society said in a tribute: “He was remembered by colleagues past and present as a kind, gentle person, a dedicated and talented surgeon and a rising star of the foot and ankle world who had already made a big impact in the British and European Foot and Ankle Societies.

“He has worked in Scotland, England and Wales and has left fond memories with people in all corners of the country.”

The Princess Alexandra Hospital described their late colleague in a statement as a “well-respected member of the team, valued colleague and friend to many across the hospital as well as in regional, national and international trauma and orthopaedic networks".