Guilty 'Cot-Death' Mother Is to Appeal against Conviction; MURDER: Judge Hints at Mitigating Post-Natal Depression

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 17, 2002 | Go to article overview

Guilty 'Cot-Death' Mother Is to Appeal against Conviction; MURDER: Judge Hints at Mitigating Post-Natal Depression


Byline: MARTIN HALFPENNY

A MOTHER was yesterday jailed for life for murdering her two infant sons but immediately announced that she will appeal against her conviction.

Angela Cannings, from Salisbury, Wiltshire, crumpled in the dock at Winchester Crown Court as the jury of eight women and four men found her guilty of murdering Jason Cannings in 1991 and Matthew Cannings in 1999.

They decided after more than nine hours of deliberations that sevenweek-old Jason and 18-week-old Matthew had not suffered cot deaths but were smothered - even though medical experts were unable to find a cause of death or any evidence of suffocation.

As the verdicts were announced, Cannings closed her eyes and said, "No, no." She had to be supported by the dock officer.

At the same time a large number of Cannings's family and friends in the public gallery shouted out in shock and despair and many ran from the courtroom in tears.

Sentencing Cannings to life for each of the murders, Mrs Justice Heather Hallett expressed regret that she had no option but to impose the mandatory sentence. She told Cannings, "There was no medical evidence before the court that suggested there was anything wrong with you when you killed your children. …

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