Friday, 20 February 2009

Modern Witchhunts – Just As Flawed As The Original Kind…

A man accused of shaking an 11-week-old baby and causing severe brain damage has been cleared after a series of hospital blunders was revealed.

Stuart Bailey, 41, insisted he had done nothing to harm the infant and his lawyers claimed the case against him was 'very seriously flawed' and based on mistakes by doctors.
And most people would say ‘Where there’s smoke….’.

But in this case, there wasn’t even heat:
His three-and-a-half-year ordeal ended when a judge halted the trial at Sheffield Crown Court and ordered the jury to find him not guilty of cruelty to a child.
Three and a half years, and it couldn’t pass the judge’s ‘smell test’? What about the evidence?

What, indeed:
Bailey's barrister told the court the injuries, which have left the baby blind, deaf and severely disabled, could have been caused by an infection.

But he said doctors ignored NHS protocol by failing to carry out a lumbar puncture test that would have identified if the baby had an infection.

And a blood sample taken from the baby and sent for analysis was lost and the results never revealed.
In which case, why go ahead? Well, they had the testimony of ‘experts’ to fall back on.

And that’s when their troubles really started….
Dr Christopher Rittey, a consultant paediatric neurologist, concluded from head scans that she had suffered a skull fracture, and soft tissue 'impact' swelling indicated she could have been 'thrown against a brick wall or beaten with a baseball bat', the court heard.

But Mr Smith said the baby did not have a fracture and the swelling Dr Rittey regarded as suspicious was 'old' damage suffered during labour.
Whoops!
Prosecutor Andrew Robertson QC, told the jury the existence of the 'triad' of bleeding above the brain, damage to the brain because of oxygen starvation and bleeding at the back of the eyes amounted to a 'very strong pointer' that the baby was violently shaken.

He rejected the possibility of infection.

But his case collapsed ten days into the trial when one of his own witnesses, Dr Carlos de Souza, from Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, said under crossexamination that the notes showed retinal bleeding was only discovered on the fourth examination of the child - more than a day after the alleged incident.

In that case he would not be able to say the most likely explanation was shaking, he said.
Whoops again!
His solicitor Tim Gaubert said: 'He's relieved although he was always confident he would be cleared. But his relief is tempered by the fact that the child is seriously ill. There are no winners and losers in this case.'

He said Mr Bailey's prosecution highlighted 'the grave dangers and difficulties in cases of alleged baby shaking.'
Well, yes, and no.

What it illustrates even more is the criminal incompetence of the CPS in deciding to push ahead when they had lost the evidence and their ‘expert witnesses’ were so easily proved wrong on the stand…

6 comments:

Oldrightie said...

What it illustrates even more is the criminal incompetence of the CPS in deciding to push ahead when they had lost the evidence and their ‘expert witnesses’ were so easily proved wrong on the stand…

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It's a shame that they never accept political mis-doings so readily.

Von Spreuth said...

Perhaps if THIS bunch had been in charge you would not all have had "baby P" to moan about?

You can not have it both ways. You ither have a catious medical and prosecutioon system, or you go and live in Haringey.

Von Brandenburg-Preußen

DJ said...

Or maybe we can have them concentrate their fire on real cases instead of splurging them away harassing the innocent, letting the guilty run riot then claiming 'me resources fell over'?

JuliaM said...

"What it illustrates even more is the criminal incompetence of the CPS ..."

And there's more to come...

"You can not have it both ways. You ither have a catious medical and prosecutioon system, or you go and live in Haringey."

Except, the mistakes made in the Baby P case were glaringly obvious and based on ignoring actual evidence - these were down to (once again) the words of 'experts' that turned out to be, well, no better than the average man on the steet!

"Or maybe we can have them concentrate their fire on real cases instead of splurging them away harassing the innocent, letting the guilty run riot then claiming 'me resources fell over'?"

Got it in one!

Von Spreuth said...

Except, the mistakes made in the Baby P case were glaringly obvious and based on ignoring actual evidence -

Hence the doctors and SS in other places are terrified of been hung drawn and quartered by the same press that rightly did for the stupid bitch and her SS team in Haringey.

You can not blame them for being, maybe, overly cautious, AND if the end result is that more "baby Ps" are detectzed before it is too late, then I support them,.

Von Brandenburg-Preußen.

Rob said...

We could have a competent medical profession which has checks and balances to ensure decisions are correct ones, especially in something as important as this.

Instead we have a system where the opinion of a single 'expert' is law and to contradict it is a hate crime.