Monday, June 6, 2005

Clark case pathologist banned

Dr Williams examined both of Mrs Clark's sons: Dr Alan Williams (above right), and Sally Clark (above left).

UK: A Home Office pathologist who failed to disclose evidence that could have helped to clear Sally Clark of the murder of her two sons has been found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the General Medical Council.

Dr Alan Williams, from Plumley, near Knutsford, Cheshire, was accused of misconduct over tests he carried out on 12-week-old Christopher Clark in 1996 and his eight-week-old brother Harry two years later.

Mrs Clark was jailed for life in 1999 for smothering the two boys, but had her conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2003.

Dr Williams, 58, was banned from undertaking any Home Office pathology work or coroners' cases for the next three years.

He gave evidence at Mrs Clark's trial but failed to disclose microbiology results of blood samples from his post mortem on Harry that could have helped her defence.

Dr Williams was found by the GMC previously to have failed in his duty as an expert witness in relation to the bacteria results, which showed the presence of staphylococcus aureus.

The Court of Appeal later quashed Mrs Clark's conviction after hearing the tests showed Harry could have died suddenly because of the presence of that bacteria.

Delivering the GMC verdict, chairman Peter Richards said: "In evidence to the panel you agreed that those test results might possibly have assisted the defence.

"Whatever your own views, even if reasonable, you had a responsibility as an experienced forensic pathologist to consider whether test results might need to be openly discussed before being discounted, in order to prevent any risk of a miscarriage of justice."

Dr Williams told the panel he had not considered the tests to be relevant and said if experts for the defence had wished to see them they should have asked for them.

By Just Us posted 6 June 05


Baby deaths doctor'breached duty to be fair'
UK: A Home Office pathologist who claimed there was "overwhelming evidence" of a double murder in the Sally Clark baby case undertook "serious and repeated departures" from expected medical standards, a disciplinary panel heard.

Mother's conviction quashed for killing her children
LONDON - The conviction of a mother convicted six years ago of killing her two children has been quashed by London's Appeal Court.

Experts in child abuse cases face inquiry
UK: The government launched an official inquiry into the quality of expert medical evidence in child abuse cases last Thursday, as the implications of the miscarriage of justice in the Angela Cannings case continued to perplex ministers.

Cot deaths and justice
Did you kill your babies?' A whisper came from the crumpled figure in the dock: 'No.' The whisper grew louder: 'No, no.' It was as if we were witnessing torture in Reading Crown Court. It is hard to imagine a crueller inquisition than that which faced Trupti Patel: a mother loses three babies in cot death and then goes through the hell of being accused of murdering them.

Accused of abuse, but never tried

Mothers Sally Clark and Trupti Patel found themselves in the dock accused of murdering their babies partly on the strength of expert testimony by Sir Roy Meadows. But other families have been forcibly separated thanks to Sir Roy's testimony without police charges ever being brought.

Cot Death Mothers: The Witch Hunt
John Sweeney investigates when mothers, grieving the loss of a child after cot death, are wrongly accused of murder.


Appeals court told woman's sentence barbaric!

Appeal: Folbigg's lawyers argue her sentence is barbaric.But is she guilty? When she has maintains her innocence? And what about "Meadows law"?

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome! & The Kathleen Folbigg Case
Kathleen Megan Folbigg, 37, is either Australia's worst female serial killer or her case is a serious miscarriage of justice in which an innocent mother has been wrongfully convicted of infanticide.

Folbigg, convicted until proven innocent
Convicted August 2003 for the manslaughter of her eldest child Caleb, and the murder of her next three children, Patrick, Sarah and Laura. Disturbing similarities between the case of Kathleen Folbigg and that of Sally Clark (nb. Other Meadows cases Trupti Patel, Angela Cannings, Donna Anthony, Margaret Smith, Julie Ferris, Maxine Robinson) using "Meadows law" one cot death is tragic, two suspicious, three murder." The Attorney-General in England is reviewing more than 250 cases where a parent may have been wrongly convicted. In other words, Professor Meadows evidence has been totally discredited. There is a furore in England, but no mention in Australian press?

Folbigg may have been innocent
On the other hand, some people simply lied or got it wrong because the system failed, The prosecution is not equal to the defence, professional opinions can be flawed and juries can determine the wrong evidence.

Family tragedy in police spotlight
JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA, REPORTER: Next week the last chapter will be played out in a case that shocked the nation, the case of Kathleen Folbigg, found guilty of killing her four babies in NSW, at first thought to have died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Next week Kathleen Folbigg will know the sentence for her crime. In May this year, following the Folbigg conviction, Stateline made inquiries here in Victoria about any cases of multiple SIDS deaths in the one family. Stateline asked the Homicide Squad, the Coroners Court, Human Services Victoria and the SIDS Foundation if any cases were being re-examined in light of the Folbigg case. The answer was no

2nd Renaissance -36 Let The Girls Go! [263]
During 2003 an Australian woman, Kathleen Folbigg, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 30 years. Her crime, which she continues to deny, was to consecutively smother her four children when they were aged between 8 and 19 months. She was largely convicted on the basis of entries in her private diary, although these did not specifically refer to her having killed her two sons and two daughters; only that she was her father's daughter. Her lawyers are appealing her conviction.