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Breakfast with Frost
Frank Lockyer, Sally Clark's father
Frank Lockyer, Sally Clark's father
BBC BREAKFAST WITH FROST INTERVIEW: FRANK LOCKYER & JOHN BATT FEBRUARY 2ND, 2003

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used

DAVID FROST: When Sally Clark walked out of the High Court a free woman, three years after she was sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her two babies, she said that it was not a victory - "there are no winners here," she said, "we've all lost out." It was the end of a vigorous campaign by her family and friends to prove she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and that her two children were in fact killed by a tragic illness. Sally and her family are now left to rebuild their lives together and I'm joined now, because we just felt we couldn't end this programme this morning, this was really the story of the week - an inspiring story as well as a sad story, a story with a happy ending but of tragic period up until then - without talking about this and celebrating the fact that justice did triumph in the end. Frank Lockyer's here, Sally's father, and old friend John Batt, both here this morning. Did you both feel during this three and a half year period, before this triumphant outcome, did you both feel that your faith in the legal system, or the judicial system, had been damaged by this three and a half year period? Starting with you Frank.

FRANK LOCKYER: Indeed. It was a rollercoaster as far as I'm concerned. You know, there were times when I had deep depression about it all but other times, and Sally herself I think probably had greater faith even than I did that it's got to come right in the end, but there were times when it was very difficult. But our friends rallied round and most of all John here, who is the architect of all it, and, you know, we somehow have pulled through. John was always optimistic but he will speak for himself. He's always.

DAVID FROST: You were always optimistic. In fact, you couldn't believe that Sally would be found guilty at the first trial.

JOHN BATT: No, well Sally was told right from the word go that she wouldn't be arrested, she wouldn't be charged, she wouldn't be tried, she wouldn't be convicted, her first appeal would not fail, and latterly that the second appeal would not fail. We were only right last time. The one person who maintained her faith in the British legal system throughout was Sally. It's the only thing I argued with her about, because I had moments of despair throughout this last three years and Sally comforted me, believe it or not, by saying "You have to have faith in the British justice system, I believe it will ultimately prove me innocent."

DAVID FROST: And in terms of your three and a half years of sleuthing, as it were -

JOHN BATT: Yes.

DAVID FROST: - what was the most difficult part of that? I mean what was the breakthrough - what day did you think eureka?

JOHN BATT: The day that Marilyn Stowe, a solicitor who volunteered her help from Leeds, persuaded Macclesfield Hospital to turn over the medical notes of both babies. And in those medical notes, which Steve himself uncovered when they eventually arrived, was a microbiology report which showed - and let's not be mealy mouthed about this - that Harry definitely died of natural causes, an overwhelming bacterial infection. And it had never seen the light of day, except to the original pathologist. It was never shown to any of the other experts or the defence experts.

DAVID FROST: That was appalling. If you ran into Alan Williams, the man who suppressed that information, what would you say to him?

JOHN BATT: I don't think that I'm allowed to say it on a family programme.

DAVID FROST: Understood. Absolutely understood. And was there any possibility that in fact that tragic illness was caused by vaccines?

JOHN BATT: Vaccines undoubtedly play a role. All the statistical evidence indicates that vaccines are absolutely safe. The problem is that most babies are given vaccines when they are losing their mother's immune system and acquiring their own and they tend to get a dip in their immune system. Sally's third child - the surviving son - had just such a thing happen when he was about to be vaccinated and they didn't do it, just as a precaution, until they had got his white blood cell count up again.

FRANK LOCKYER: This probably has great significance actually, that a surviving child also had an immune deficiency at the time he was to be vaccinated, and had he been vaccinated, it could have been with disastrous circumstances. Now I don't want you to think we're against vaccination because I'm not, it's a highly controversial subject, but we had, we had him vaccinated eventually but it's the question of timing.

DAVID FROST: And John was quoted somewhere as saying about you that one of your fears was that you would die before Sally was free.

FRANK LOCKYER: You can say that again David. I'm 72 and, you know, you've got to look at your life expectation now and if she was in prison for life imprisonment, which could be anything up to 15 years - and indeed longer if they don't admit their guilt. I mean it's a funny thing about the prison system that if they don't, people who don't admit their guilt don't even get paroled at the tariff time - and so, yes I was worried about it, of course I was. I wanted her home again. Of course I did.

JOHN BATT: I must tell you that Frank and I are known as the over 60s A team. Whatever that may mean. I gather it's a reference to a television programme.

DAVID FROST: It is indeed but, it's Crimewatch, that would be another title for the story, you'd be delighted, another programme, you watch the crime you investigated it and we just wanted to share your relief more than joy, probably. Thank you both for being with us this morning. This has been the most inspiring story of the week, or probably of the month, and we wanted to take note of that. Thank you.

INTERVIEW ENDS


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