‘Devastated’ by judgment
KERAN Henderson has told of her anger and disappointment at the Court of Appeal turning down the appeal against her conviction for shaking a baby to death.
A statement from Henderson, from Iver Heath, released shortly after the court had made its decision last month, said: “Mrs Henderson and her family are absolutely devastated by the judgment but in fact not at all surprised. The whole five-year ordeal has been totally based on unproven medical opinions only. Never at any time have the events that actually happened ever been taken into account and witnesses to this day remain uninterviewed.
“The underlying issue that there was no factual proven evidence against Mrs Henderson remains.”
Since then serious doubts have been raised about the conviction and the validity of some of the expert evidence that was instrumental in the original decision.
The case has attracted the support of a number of women who have been wrongly convicted of shaking babies to death, and was even the subject of a Panaroma documentary, which looked into shaken baby syndrome.
Maeve Sheppard died in 2005 while being looked after by Henderson.
Henderson, who has now served her sentence, has always maintained the girl suffered a seizure while having her nappy changed, and that Maeve had shown signs of illness on previous occasions when she was looking after her.
Appeal judge Lord Justice Moses said: “There remains the unsolved mystery of how as admired a childminder as this appellant should have been responsible for the use of excessive force, even momentarily, when handling this baby.
“But that was a problem with which the jury had to grapple.
“There is no basis upon which this court can say that the jury was not entitled, after being properly directed by trial judge Mr Justice Keith, to conclude that the expert evidence proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant had shaken Maeve with excessive force.”
Since Henderson’s conviction in 2007, her appeal has gained huge support from residents in and around Iver Heath, who set up the Carers 4 Carers group to stand behind her.
Chronic Subdural Hematoma In Infancy. Clinical Analysis Of 30 Cases In The CT Era.
Some etiologies found for chronic subdural hematomas during infancy in this study are: vitamin K deficiency, infantile acute subdural hemorrhage, child abuse, and coagulopathy including leukemia and hemophilia.
These findings emphasize the need for a thorough differential diagnosis to be done when the presence of a subdural hematoma exists as well as the avoidance of any presumption of causation prior to the appropriate testing being done.
Department of Neurosurgery, Tokyo Metropolitan Fuchu Hospital, Japan.
The cases of 30 infants with chronic subdural hematoma treated surgically between 1978 and 1987 (after the introduction of computerized tomography) were reviewed. This series was limited to infants presenting with increased intracranial pressure, neurological deficits, or developmental retardation. Nineteen patients were male and 11 were female, ranging in age from 1 to 14 months (average 6.1 months). The surgical treatment was initiated with percutaneous subdural tapping which was repeated periodically, if indicated, for 2 weeks. If the patients failed to respond to subdural tapping, subdural-peritoneal shunting was installed. The follow-up periods were from 3 months to 9 years 8 months (average 4 years 10 months). Computerized tomography at that time disclosed disappearance or minimal collection of subdural fluid in 28 cases (93%) and a significant collection (greater than 5 mm) in two (7%). Neurological examination revealed that the patients were “normal” in 17 cases (57%), “mildly or moderately disabled” in nine (30%), and “severely disabled” in four (13%). The majority of disabled patients had lesions secondary to infantile acute subdural hematoma, child abuse, or hemorrhagic diathesis. These results indicate that the treatment protocol in the present series is acceptable for the elimination of subdural hematoma. Together, early diagnosis and treatment of the etiological conditions causing the lesion are indispensable for obtaining a satisfactory neurological outcome.
Merck is found to be paying experts to recommend Gardasil
If you dangle a nice juicy carrot in front of many of the world’s leading experts advising the governments on vaccine policies, they will accept the carrot like any other ‘ass’. This has been proven over and over, however, agreeing to use little girls in experiments for the HPV vaccine Gardasil, is stooping about as low as anyone could go. This, however, is exactly what one group of experts from Norway have done. According to the Norwegian newspaper the VG NETT in their report Fikk betalt av vaksineprodusent – VG Nett om Helse og medisin the Norwegian experts received money from Merck and then advised their government on the HPV vaccine Gardasil, which at the time was only in it’s experimental stages, thus putting their own financial gain above the lives of the innocent children of Norway.
The report reads:-
“Four of the experts who advised the government to vaccinate all 12-year-old girls with the HPV vaccine Gardasil have received money for research from the U.S. pharmaceutical giant Merck.
A fifth expert, senior research worker Ellen Nilsen, went directly from the group which gave Health Minister Sylvia Brustad advice, to a position with the company that markets the vaccine in Norway.
There are 13 persons in the expert group.
The newspaper VG revealed that all 12-year-old girls will in fact be research test persons for Merck, if the Norwegian experts get their will.”
To be fair the experts, did rather weakly (in my opinion) try to defend their position.
“- In small countries it is a problem to find people who are both competent and who have not had any commitments related to the products for which there should be given advice, or companies that have produced the products” says director Geir Stene-Larsen at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) to VG.
The report continues:-
In April NIPH gave clear advice to the government: HPV vaccination should be implemented in the national vaccination program for girls 11-12 years of age.
The advice was based on the expert group’s assessment.
Professor Ole-Erik Iversen at the women’s clinic at Haukeland Hospital has participated in several clinical trials and has been the national coordinator in Norway for studies of the two vaccines against HPV viruses that currently exist. He has also served on Merck’s steering committee, and has, according to Innovest received 120 000 kroner plus 35 000 kroner in travel expenses for this work since 2000.”
The rest of the article is in the same vein:-
“- Should I count the hours I would have earned more doing extra shifts at the hospital. I have done this because I think it’s important work which can be of great significance for women all over the world. This is contract research which is supported by the university and the hospital”, says Iversen to VG. He emphasizes that he does not have shares, options or receive bonuses for vaccine sales.
My heart bleeds:-
“Professor Harald Moi at the Olafia Clinic leads a research project in which vaccine efficacy in young men is investigated.
“- This is mission-based research and it is Merck who is funding this study. The funds go to the Research Forum, I receive no extra remuneration for this work” said Moi.
Aud Berstad at the pediatric clinic at Haukeland Hospital has participated in clinical trials for Merck’s vaccine.
“- I have not received any personal compensation, the money has gone to the Merck research company Innovest at Haukeland Hospital. I do not remember the exact totals, but there is not much money” she said.
Agnes Kathrine Lie, chief physician at the Cancer Registry of Norway, has held two lectures for Merck and received payment for them.
“- She received just under 5000 kroner for these lectures. This is not lectures she made for Merck, but which she has held previously. It is also important to emphasize that Lie has not taken active part in connection with the development of the vaccine or in carrying out the studies” says Lie’s director at the Cancer Registry, Rita Steen.
Senior Ellen Nilsen participated in the group until 1.November last year. Then she left because she took a position at Sanofi Pasterur MSD, where Merck is one of part owners, and who markets the vaccine in Norway.
Eivind Smith, law professor, said Ellen Nilsen should not have been in the group:
“- This is an obvious argument against her participation, even though she left when she signed the contract with her new employer ” says Smith.
Ellen Nilsen emphasizes that her role in the group was as an observer for her former employer, the Norwegian Knowledge Centre for the Health Services
“I had therefore no influence on the work. The employment process with my current employer took place in the usual way in which I, as one of several were contacted by a recruitment agency in the beginning of September. I had two interviews with people in the management of the company, one mid-September, and one in October. I received an offer 31. October and accepted 1.November. The Knowledge Center was notified on the same day, and I left my observer role in the group,” writes Nilsen in an e-mail to VG.
“- In this case, I have been very interested in receiving impartial advice. I sent a letter to the National Institute of Public Health in January”, Health Minister Sylvia Brustad writes in an
e-mail to VG.
Beyond that, she was unavailable yesterday to comment on the impartiality issue.
“- It is very important is that there is full openness about the commitments one has. So we will consider in each case how strong the commitment is and how strongly one can expect that it affects the attitudes of the person. In this case we have found that the question of impartiality is acceptable” says Geir Stene-Larsen at the NIPH.
The article was kindly translated from Norwegian for me by my colleague Sandy Lunoe whom I thank.
Another report Human Papillomavirus (Types 6, 11, 16, 18) Recombinant Vaccine … confirms that as usual these experts did indeed persuade Norway to sign up for the experiment and on Google the write up for this article says -
“the Nordic Region (Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Denmark) to assess long-term outcomes following administration of GARDASIL in approximately 5500 subjects”
The consequences which we have since learned from Janny Stokvia, an activist from Denmark and a member of the TruthAboutGardasil http://truthaboutgardasil.org/ have been far from pleasant and she has helped demonstrate this as part of a power point presentation accompanied with documents that a group of six women presented to the FDA in March.
Even more disturbing is that some months earlier, in another article - Honorar til forskningssjef er korrupsjon – Stavanger Aftenblad which translated means – Fees to research director is corruption, we see another expert, this time the research director Steinar Ø. Thoresen from the Cancer Registry, also accepting large sums of money totalling 233,900 dollars from Merck, which the Christian Demoncrate party leader and the former Minister of Health to NRK, calls corruption.
The article states:-
“The U.S. company also Thoresen cover travel expenses. Money transfers, a total of 233,900 dollars, started two years before Thoresen ensured that Merck had one million agreement with the Cancer Registry for the development of a vaccine against cervical cancer”
This shows that Mr Thoresen and the other experts advising their Government had massive and rather lucrative conflicts of interests which were in their interest to keep quiet about.
Mr Dagfinn Høybråten the former Minister of Health to NRK however calls their silence and dirty dealings corruption and states in the report that “Such remittances have a name, and there is corruption,”.
The report continues:-
“He has asked the health minister to get involved in the case that there is unhealthy links between the pharmaceutical industry and physicians in Norway is no secret. But this case is so special that it can not be called common practice, “he said.
Thoresen and a subordinate at the Cancer Registry according to VG signed personal contracts with pharmaceutical giant in 2002 without informing the management.The agreements took place in violation of the guidelines that applied for medical managers.
Auditor General should investigate. Even Thoresen says that he has not done anything wrong.”
However, these experts are not alone in their misdemeanour’s by a long way. Reports show that Indian experts also had some hidden conflicts of interests, revealing that these to, had links with Merck when they advised their government on this vaccine. In April I revealed these conflicts of interest when I wrote the article Are panel chosen to investigate Gardasil in India fit for purpose? I spoke at this time of a press release released by the organisation the TruthAboutGardasil. http://truthaboutgardasil.org/ which said:-
“North Hollywood, CA. Members of TruthAboutGardasil.org and women around the world are disappointed with the panel of investigators selected to examine alleged violations of guidelines for conducting ‘clinical trials’, inadequate research, false advertising, along with various moral and ethical concerns in connection with a recent health ‘demonstration project’ involving HPV vaccines amongst disadvantaged women in India.
With apparent disregard for the women and organizations that brought these injustices to the attention of the world, the government of India has chosen S. P., Agarwal former Director-General of Health Services; Sunita Mittal, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences; and Pharmacologist, Ranjit Roy to serve as the primary investigators. Now the world is wondering if these three men; a retired government official, a practicing physician and a practicing pharmacist are capable – or willing – to impartially review their peers and/or supervisors conduct and the trial reports without bias.”
‘Capable’, is possible, ‘willing’, is doubtful and to be ‘impartial’, now that is the one that is really questionable especially as one of the panel of investigators appears to have a secret that he just conveniently forgot to mention. The secret, well you guessed it, he is connected to the manufacturer of the Gardasil vaccine Merck.
On the front page of the The Hindu on the 14th April 2010 in a letter to Azad it read-
“Another issue which unfortunately has not been addressed in your letter is the conflict of interest involved in the PATH project. This NGO is a partner of the manufacturing company MERCK in other projects.
As a partner, it can be easily understood that the conflict arises from the interests of the subjects of the project, in this case children, on the one hand, and the vaccine manufacturer, on the other.
If there is not to be a cover-up of what appears prima facie to be a case of connivance with a vaccine manufacturing company in violation of set guidelines, I would once again request you to kindly look into the aspect of the inquiry, both in its terms of reference and in its composition.”
So if The Hindu’s research is correct and this is so, he can hardly be impartial now can he?”
I have since found other links proving that India foster many alliances with Merck that they would hardly want to surrender as Merck also offer to adopt talented students in India and prevent them from dropping out of education due to lack of resources. POSTER 2010_final_for print
This clearly shows how Merck gives chosen students scholarships of a fixed amount per year upon the submission of authentic invoices/bills to be utilised towards payment of academic and tuition fees and stationary expenses. Very commendable, however with these sort of grants, is it any wonder that India appear to be in favour of vaccines manufactured by Merck?
In fact after researching I found that Merck are very noble and offer a considerable amount of money to various causes worldwide. This article Colloidal Silver Secrets: Big Drug Companies Fund Groups Behind …written by Tony Issacs is fascinating as it reveals detailed information on an organisation called the ‘John Merck Fund’. The John Merck Fund was set up by Serena Merck who was the widow of Merck Pharmaceuticals CEO George W Merck in honor of their short lived son John.
This fund is responsible for funding groups from Greenpeace to the American Corn Growers Association. A small sample of some of their activities have been listed on the website John Merck Fund the full extent of the actual funding is huge.
The world cannot get away from the fact that Merck is huge and holds power and influence over many of our countries experts. With their cash rewards and our experts being the weak individuals they are, most cannot resist the nice juicy carrots that are held out in front of them even if this means sacrificing our children in experiments involving vaccines. After all when counting the cash it is easy to kid yourself that it is for good of mankind, especially if it does not affect you personally.
I have written this in memory of those that have died after receiving the vaccine Gardasil. Especially Megan my friend Karen’s daughter.
Information video made by activist Janny Stokvia.
Conflicts of interest – I am a mother of a vaccine damaged child
Falling Branch Kills Baby
June 27 2010
Six month old Gianna Ricciutti from Union City, N.J was killed on Saturday, after a large branch fell from a tree outside the Central Park Zoo, striking her and injuring her mother. Karla Ricciutti was holding her infant outside of the famous New York attraction, when the huge limb somehow separated itself from a tree 30 feet over their heads, and landed on them. The impact knocked the 33-year old women to the ground and caused her infant daughter to fall out of her arms, also landing on the hard pavement.
After being rushed to New York Presbyterian hospital, the baby was pronounced dead, while her mother remains in critical condition as a result of the accident.
Witnesses report the entire incident happened so quickly, there wasn’t enough time for anybody to react. The father, Mike Ricciutti was snapping photographs at the time and was visibly upset and too shaken up to respond to questions about either his wife or daughter.
This is not the first fatality involving a falling limb in this area. In February of this year, Elmaz Oyra was struck in the head by a snow covered branch while strolling along Literary Walk, killing him almost instantly.
Mired in scandals, disgraced doctors and misdiagnoses
By Breda Heffernan
Tuesday June 08 2010
OUR Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda has been mired in a series of high-profile scandals and controversies in recent years, many of which have centred on the standard of care given to pregnant women.
Disgraced obstetrician Dr Michael Neary was struck off the medical register in 2003 after an investigation found he had needlessly removed the wombs and ovaries of dozens of expectant mothers.
A state inquiry concluded that his actions over the course of 20 years were motivated more by a “phobia” of losing patients than by malice or incompetence.
However, the scandal led to the introduction of a “whistleblower” clause to give legal protection to health workers who raised concerns about the conduct of colleagues.
GARDA TANIA MCCABE
Sergeant Tania Corcoran-McCabe was six months pregnant with twins when she presented at the hospital in March, 2007 with stomach pains. Doctors failed to diagnose that she was suffering ruptured membranes and she was sent home.
She was rushed back to the hospital within 24 hours by which stage she was suffering from sepsis and an emergency caesarean section was performed. Sgt Corcoran-McCabe died on the operating table while one of her twin boys, Zach, also lost his life.
An inquest returned a verdict of death by medical misadventure in relation to the young mother.
Our Lady of Lourdes came in for sharp criticism earlier this year after it was revealed that staff had continued to perform painful symphysiotomy procedures on pregnant women up until the early 1980s, despite other hospitals ending the practice nearly 20 years earlier.
The procedure, which involved widening the pelvis during childbirth, left many women with long-term health problems including incontinence, back pain and depression.
Mother Kathleen Naughton, who is still living with the consequences of the symphysiotomy she underwent there 35 years ago, said doctors at the time considered themselves to be “gods”.
Thousands of X-rays had to be reviewed after Scottish locum radiologist Dr James Murphy mistakenly gave the all-clear to nine lung cancer patients, eight of whom subsequently died. He worked at Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan between August 2006 and August 2007.
An investigation found that the misdiagnoses resulted in delayed treatment which took months off the lives of some patients. One had to wait over a year before being diagnosed.
To add insult to injury, during the X-ray review, a mailing error led to the families of 179 dead people being mistakenly told their loved-ones’ cases were going to be re-checked.
Surgeon Michael Shine, who retired from the hospital in 1995, was struck off the medical register in 2008 after the Medical Council found he had abused his professional position by making sexual advances towards three male patients.
He was acquitted of sexual assault during a court case seven years ago following complaints by patients treated at the hospital from the 1960s to the 1990s.
- Breda Heffernan
Sutton dad cleared of injuring baby by Court of Appeal
7:30am Friday 25th June 2010
A father wrongly jailed for attacking his seven-week-old daughter has had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal.
Ben Butler, 30, of Cleeve Way in Sutton, served three-and-a-half months in prison after it was alleged he shook his baby daughter Ellie so hard he caused her a serious head injury.
On Thursday after a legal battle lasting more than three years, Mr Butler finally had his conviction quashed by the Court of Appeal.
In an exclusive interview with the Sutton Guardian Mr Butler told of his miscarriage of justice and his hell inside prison.
He warned: “If it can happen to me, it can happen anyone.
“It ruined me. I still haven’t got over it.
“It was a bit surreal sitting in court the other day. I was only in there for a second when they said they accepted my case.”
Despite conflicting medical evidence being presented to the court Mr Butler was sentenced to 18 months in prison by Croydon Crown Court in March 2009. He was convicted of cruelty and causing grievous bodily harm.
Mr Butler was arrested in February 2007, when he rushed Ellie to St Helier hospital after she became limp and pale.
Although Ellie bore no outward mark of recent injury, doctors discovered she had suffered a serious head injury.
Ellie made a full recovery from her injuries, and since she had no visible injuries the case was tried almost entirely on the basis of medical evidence and opinion.
Mr Butler served three-and-a-half months of his prison sentence before he was released on bail to fight his appeal.
That appeal was finally heard in March this year, some three years after his nightmare began.
The Court of Appeal found there was no rational basis on which a jury, in light of some of the medical evidence given, could reject an unknown cause for the injuries, rather than shaking.
It also found the judge’s summing up of the case contained serious misdirections.
Mr Butler now intends to take action against the police for wrongful arrest.
Prison destroyed me, says Sutton dad cleared of injuring his baby
7:40am Friday 25th June 2010
As Ben Butler was sentenced to 18 months for hurting his only daughter, the shock was so great even one of his barristers broke down in tears.
It was to be the start of a three-and-a-half month nightmare in prison, surrounded by sex offenders and violent convicts.
Devoted father Mr Butler was finally cleared of any blame at the Court of Appeal last Thursday, nearly three-and-half years after his ordeal first began.
He said: “I was destroyed. Prison was the hardest thing ever. It was beyond belief. It took everything out of me.
“They transferred me to a prison in Cambridgeshire where 75 per cent of the prisoners were sex offenders.
“I wasn’t even allowed a picture of my daughter.
“It was a terrible place. I was proud, and lost all pride for a long time in there.”
It started when Mr Butler took his daughter to St Helier hospital after she went pale and limp.
Although his seven-week-old daughter, Ellie, had no visible signs of recent injury, doctors discovered she had suffered a serious head injury.
He said: “Her mum said she had been having these periods where she went pale.
“I picked her up and she was all floppy and non-responsive.
“The ambulance was taking too long so I called a friend and he drove us to the hospital.”
While at the hospital Mr Butler came under increasing scrutiny from doctors, who then called the police.
He was later arrested and charged with cruelty and causing grievous bodily harm.
Because of the lack of any outward injury, the case against him was constructed almost entirely on medical evidence and opinion.
Mr Butler said: “Everyone I knew that was close to me couldn’t believe what was going on.
“They all said it will be all right, there’s nothing wrong with her.”
But he was convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm to his baby after Croydon Crown Court heard evidence of shaken baby syndrome – a potentially fatal form of child abuse. It occurs when a baby is forcefully shaken, leading to damage within the child’s skull.
Mr Butler said this week he intends to sue the police for wrongful arrest. He claimed police ignored the evidence of four different experts who said Ellie’s injuries were unlikely to have been caused by shaking. He also claimed £1m has been spent trying to convict him.
Mr Butler believes miscarriages of justice over shaken baby syndrome will continue to happen if there is not a change in the law.
He claims the police and the courts rely on the same sort of evidence, and while the prosecution are able to fund a large number of expert witnesses to support their claims, on legal aid he was only able to call three experts in support of him.
He said: “There was conflicting medical evidence and the experts were arguing with each other all the time.
“The evidence is too complicated for a jury to understand.
“I have spent the last three-and-a-half years in a constant fight.
“Now I have got to the point where I don’t feel anything. I feel numb.
“I don’t know what to do now. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy, I’ve been doing lots of reading and researching shaken baby syndrome.
“In the past I worked in an office, I will have to get back into work.
“With everything that happened I probably lost a bit of me that will never come back.”
HealthWatch: Head Trauma
Dr. Holly Phillips
Natasha Richardson did not show immediate signs of severe brain trauma, which is often the case with head injuries. Her serious condition following the accident left many wondering how this could have happened.
“Minimal force could result in a significant injury, depending on how people fall or how people strike their head,” said Dr. Carolyn Brockington of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital.
Head injuries can cause bleeding inside of the skull which puts pressure on the brain. The bleeding can happen over minutes, hours or days.
“If you continue to bleed that begins to push as a mass effect on the brain itself, that pushes the brain to one side,” Brockington said.
The most important thing to remember about head injuries is that just because you feel fine right after doesn’t mean you are.
Getting to the doctor at the first sign of mild symptoms could make the difference between life and death.
“It’s better to be on the safe side, have it evaluated. Get a full neurological examination as well as some imaging,” Brockington said.
Even if you do not lose consciousness, symptoms of trauma include vomiting, confusion, drowsiness weakness or difficulty walking.
Parents should be especially careful with children. An innocent bump on the playground could cause a serious brain trauma.
Be on high alert if your child refuses to eat, appears listless or cranky, loses interest in favorite toys, or has altered sleep patterns.
“Treatment goes from the range of medical therapy and observation, versus, at the most aggressive it actually surgical intervention and that is going to actually take out the blood or take out the bleeding from the brain. It’s important to come in early to have those options,” Brockington said.
Visit http://johncaputo.com/aop/head-trauma… injuries can occur in many different ways. Obviously, trauma can cause a brain injury. Some of these are the result of carelessness causing direct traumatic contact to the brain by an outside object or force. Others are caused by the brain literally striking the inside of the skull in what is caused a closed head injury. Closed head injuries can result in fluid collection called hydrocephalus, bleeding of the tissues which is a hemorrhage, and sometimes a herniation of the brain from the fluid or blood which is a destructive movement of the brain from the force of the fluid or blood collection.
Yet, the brain is sometimes injured very seriously without a fluid or blood collection. A serious concussion or bruise of the brain can injure the connecting fibers of the brain and damage the electrical system. This can cause what is known as cognitive changes such as loss or deterioration of memory, difficulties in reasoning and thinking, speech and learning abilities.
There are occasions where a problem with breathing caused by an arrest, by shock, stroke or from a deficiency in the lung whereby blood is not oxygenated sufficiently can cause temporary anoxia, (the lack of oxygen), or persistent hypoxia, (a lowered amount of oxygen to the brain) which damages the tissue resulting in severe motor and mental function deficits. Fore more information on brain injures caused by delayed diagnosis, click here.
At our law firm, we have had the experience in pursuing many cases for injured citizens which have occurred in all of the above ways.
Unknown Causes Of Shaken Baby Syndrome “Must Not Be Overlooked”
21 June 2010
The possibility of an unknown cause for the death of a baby alleged to have been killed by shaking must not be overlooked, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
The court was laying down guidelines to help judges direct juries in cases of shaken baby syndrome, which often depend entirely on expert evidence.
Delivering judgment on behalf of the court in R v Henderson, R v Butler and R v Oyediran  EWCA Crim 1269, Lord Justice Moses said it was no surprise that cases of shaken baby syndrome were controversial.
“A young baby dies while under the sole care of a parent or childminder,” he said. “That child can give no clue to clinicians as to what has happened. Experts, prosecuting authorities and juries must reconstruct as best they can what has happened.
“There remains a temptation to believe that it is always possible to identify the cause of injury to a child.”
Moses LJ said such a temptation should be resisted. He said the correct management of expert evidence was of crucial importance and a conviction could only be regarded as safe if it proceeded on a “logically justifiable basis”.
Unless evidence was properly prepared before juries were sworn in, Moses LJ said it was unlikely that proper directions could be given by the judge.
He said that the judge due to hear a particular case should deal with all the pre-trial hearings and it was desirable for him to have “experience of the complex issues and understanding of the medical learning”.
Lord Justice Moses said this was easy enough to achieve in the Family Division, but more difficult in the criminal courts.
“Proper and robust pre-trial management is essential. Without it, real medical issues cannot be identified,” he said.
“Absent such identification, a judge is unlikely to be able to prevent experts wandering into unnecessary complicated and confusing detail. Unless the real medical issues are identified in advance, avoidable detail will not be avoided.”
Lord Justice Moses said that the fact a medical expert was in clinical practice at the time he made his report was significant.
“Clinicians learn from each case in which they are engaged,” he said. “Each case makes them think and as their experience develops so does their understanding.
“Continuing experience gives them the opportunity to adjust previously held opinions, to alter their views. They are best placed to recognise that that which is unknown one day may be acknowledged the next.”
Moses LJ said that such evidence could provide a “far more reliable source” than that of medical experts who had retired.
“Such experts are, usually, engaged only in reviewing the opinion of others,” he said. “They have lost the opportunity, day by day, to learn and develop from continuing experience.”
When summing up, Moses LJ said judges should not ignore the “realistic possibility of an unknown cause” and juries instructed that unless the evidence “leads them to exclude any realistic possibility of an unknown cause they cannot convict”.
He said juries needed directions on how to approach conflicting expert evidence.
“An overall impression can never be the substitute for a rational process of analysis,” he said. “The jury are not required to produce reasons for their conclusion. Nevertheless, the judge should guide them by identifying those reasons which would justify either accepting or rejecting any conflicting expert opinion on which either side relies.”
Moses LJ, Mrs Justice Rafferty and Mr Justice Hedley dismissed an appeal by Keran Henderson, a childminder, against her manslaughter conviction. The same trio allowed Ben Butler’s appeal against convictions for GBH and cruelty regarding his baby daughter.
Moses LJ, Rafferty J and Mr Justice Sharp rejected Oladapo Oyediran’s appeal against a conviction for murdering his baby son.