Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Six Other Innocent Mothers in Jail Says Solicitor; Sally Clark Backer Attacks 'Crusaders out to Prove Cot Deaths Are Killings'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Six Other Innocent Mothers in Jail Says Solicitor; Sally Clark Backer Attacks 'Crusaders out to Prove Cot Deaths Are Killings'

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL CHESTON;PATRICK MCGOWAN

SIX other mothers in prison for killing their babies may be victims of similar miscarriage of justice to Sally Clark, a solicitor specialising in infant death said today.

John Batt, who acted as a consultant to Mrs Clark's legal team, blamed a "crusade" by child medical experts who are determined to prove that many cot deaths are murder.

His claim comes as demands grow for a complete change in the way cot deaths are investigated.

Mrs Clark, 38, a solicitor, was freed yesterday after appeal court judges ruled her conviction for killing her two babies was unsafe. New evidence showed that her 11-week-old son Christopher and eight-week-old Harry could have died of natural causes.

The judges said "serious questions" were raised about evidence provided by a Home Office pathologist which helped to convict Mrs Clark.

She is now in line for u500,000 compensation after a campaign by her husband Stephen.

Mr Batt said today it was becoming virtually impossible for mothers accused of killing their babies to receive a fair trial because the presumption of innocence goes "straight out of the window".

Mr Batt told Radio 4's Today programme: "People don't realise how many cases like this there are.

"I know of at least six similar cases in Glasgow, Worcester, Hull, Hastings, Hampshire and Cardiff.

"All the circumstances are very similar - no previous history of abuse, child abuse experts saying these cases are not natural, doctors saying they don't know, could be this or could be that. They are all the same. Hopefully what will come out of Sally's case is that in future these cases should not get anywhere near the criminal courts."

Mr Batt, who has spent three years assembling research and investigating cot deaths around the world, said some child abuses experts believe that 40 per cent of such tragedies are murder.

Mr Batt believes the actual figure is between two to eight per cent "in which there is suspicion". …

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