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Last Updated: Friday, 16 March 2007, 21:19 GMT
Sally Clark dies at family home
Sally Clark
Sally Clark spent three years in jail after her wrongful conviction
Sally Clark - the solicitor wrongly jailed for murdering her two sons - has died, her family has announced.

Mrs Clark, 42, was jailed in 1999 for killing her 11-week-old son Christopher in December 1996 and eight-week-old Harry in January 1998.

A first appeal against the convictions failed in 2000 but she was freed in 2003 after a fresh appeal.

The family's solicitor said she was found dead at her home on Friday. The cause of death is not yet known.

She was not suffering from any kind of disease at the time of her death but she was not in the best of health
Sue Staple
Family's solicitor

The solicitor's statement said she "never fully recovered" from the effects of the "appalling miscarriage of justice" she suffered, which saw her spend three years in jail.

"Sally... was a loving and talented wife, mother, daughter and friend. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her."

The statement also said the matter was in the hands of the coroner and it was too early to provide any further information.

Angela Cannings, who was herself wrongly convicted of killing two of her sons, said she was "shocked" and "angry" at Mrs Clark's death.

She said: "I'm really speechless, I'm so angry. This lady suffered so much, now she's died, I'm just shocked and stunned."

'Unwise to speculate'

Asked about a suspected cause of death, family solicitor Sue Staple declined to comment. She said: "I think it would be very unwise to speculate about these things.

"She was not suffering from any kind of disease at the time of her death but she was not in the best of health."

Mrs Clark, who was originally from Wilmslow in Cheshire but was living in Chelmsford, Essex, at the time of her death, was convicted of smothering Christopher and shaking Harry to death at the luxury home she shared with her husband Stephen.

Three Court of Appeal judges eventually decided that her conviction was "unsafe".

Professor Sir Roy Meadow
Professor Sir Roy Meadow was criticised after Mrs Clark's trial

Professor Sir Roy Meadow, giving evidence during her trial, claimed the probability of two natural unexplained cot deaths in a family was 73 million-to-one.

The Royal Statistical Society and other medical experts disputed the figure and said the odds of a second cot death in a family were around 200-to-one.

Sir Roy was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and struck off the medical register.

However, both of these decisions were overturned on appeal at the High Court.

The Court of Appeal had been told that new medical evidence which suggested Harry Clark may have been suffering from a brain infection was withheld from Mrs Clark's defence team during her trial.

Mrs Clark's barrister, Clare Montgomery QC, said at her successful appeal that new evidence emerged in 2000 that there was a staphylococcus aureus infection which had spread as far as Harry's cerebral spinal fluid.

She said the prosecution pathologist Dr Alan Williams, who had carried out post-mortem examinations on both babies, had known about this evidence since February 1998.

Microbiological test results demonstrated Harry probably died suddenly in reaction to the bacteria, she added.

Sally Clark's battle to clear her name

The case of Sally Clark
28 Jan 03 |  England

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