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Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Published at 20:05 GMT 21:05 UK


Woodward, no love for the Eappens

Louise Woodward

The scripted part of the programme is in italics to distinguish it from the actual interview.

Pix: Eappens/ Louise/ Web page

Martin Bashir: The Eappen family launched an appeal against Judge Zobel's decision, arguing that since a jury had found Louise Woodward guilty the Judge had no right to single-handedly reduce the verdict. Though free Louise Woodward was not allowed to leave Massachusetts. In response Louise Woodward also appealed, arguing that medical evidence proved she was not responsible for Matthew Eappen's injuries and that she should be acquitted. The Judges delivered their verdict last week, via the Internet, arguing that Judge Zobel was within his right to reduce the verdict and the sentence.

Martin Bashir: But in the Appeal Court's judgement, it says that Louise Woodward stands guilty, and I quote "of causing an infant's violent death". The outcome of this trial most assuredly was not an acquittal. The judgement of the Supreme Court is that you are guilty of that child's death. Do you accept that judgement ?

Louise Woodward: Of course not, because I know it's not true. I know in my heart I did nothing wrong, and the people I love, and the people who know me know that I'm not capable of that. And of course I don't accept a court's judgement when I know the truth, and I hope that people can look past it and hopefully, the search for the truth will continue. And hopefully, when more is learnt about baby shaking syndrome, or, and child abuse, I hope my name will eventually be cleared by that.

Press at Manchester Airport

Martin Bashir: Since her return there have been allegations concerning the management of donations to the Trust Fund and the Daily Mail newspaper has admitted paying Louise Woodward's parents forty thousand pounds following her conviction last November .

Martin Bashir: What do you say to people who look at you and say actually Louise Woodward and her family have cashed in on this?

Louise Woodward: I'd say it's seems difficult to me to see how you could make that assumption because emotionally this has taken an awful lot out of everybody. The tremendous pressure and stress my family have been under has been at times almost intolerable and so certainly we have not gained anything in that respect. When it comes to money my family haven't made anything out of this. In fact we've turned down hundreds of thousands of pounds being offered by newspapers and television programmes both here and in America.

Martin Bashir: Genuine offers of money?

Louise Woodward: All offering enormous amounts of money just to speak with me and my instructions to my lawyers has always been to turn them down - that there were to be no negotiations on my behalf. And that they were to just file them or bin them. But you know that I was not negotiating to sell my story. And then of course since my release I'm doing this interview for free. And I've not sold my story to a newspaper.

Martin Bashir: Because the criminal case is now over you'll have to live the rest of your life with a conviction for manslaughter and it'll be hanging over you. Do you ever think that when you become a mother yourself that may be difficult, there may be people suggesting that your children should be on an at risk register because of your conviction?

Louise Woodward: Yeah.. I find_ I've heard it said that I shouldn't be allowed near children and I find that incredibly hurtful. I'm a person who is very affectionate towards people and I love children. I have a lot of young children in my family, my relatives, my friends and I find that very hurtful. And there is a little bit of a stigma to it that I feel, almost, that I've lost the right to look at a child- that I've lost the right to tell a mother that her child is beautiful or to coo at a baby and I do feel this stigma. but that's something personally that I'll have to get over.

Martin Bashir: When you returned back to England, you were asked if you had a message for the Eappens at the airport and at your press conference you said no. Why is that ?

Louise Woodward: I certainly have no love for them. They did their very best to get me in prison, I just don't feel there is anything I could say to them that they don't know already. I think it would be pretty pointless to be sending messages. I don't want to antagonise them, I don't want to get into a fight in the press with them. I just thought it was unnecessary. I think that is a very insensitive question to ask, so I just didn't want to answer that.

Martin Bashir: You talk about sensitivity, do you have any feelings for the fact that they lost a child?

Louise Woodward: Of course I do. And, I am not accusing anyone of anything, because I don't know what happened either. I don't know and I said that from the beginning. All I have ever been able to say is, I don't know what happened, but I know what didn't happen, and I can only ever tell you that.


Click below for the other parts of the interview

Louise Woodward on the verdict and the Eappens

Louise Woodward's arrest, questioning and conviction.

Louise Woodward on the verdict and the Eappens

Living with the Eappens

Matthew Eappens last day

Emergency services called

In court charged with murder

The hearing and the appeal

272 days in prison

The children and their parents



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