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Sunday, 6 January, 2002, 03:11 GMT
Fresh hope for baby killer appeal
Sally Clark
Sally Clark has always protested her innocence
A solicitor found guilty of murdering her two baby sons is hoping new evidence will be enough to grant her a new appeal hearing.

Sally Clark, from Wilmslow in Cheshire, was given two life sentences in November 1999 for the murder of 11-week-old Christopher in 1996 and eight-week-old Harry in 1998.

She has always maintained both were victims of sudden infant death syndrome (Sids) - commonly known as cot death - but the jury decided she had smothered them.

Clark's supporters strongly believe her conviction was a miscarriage of justice.

In October 2000 the Court of Appeal turned down Clark's appeal to clear her name.

'Cot death gene'

The BBC's John Sweeney says she is now pinning her hopes on new research from the Royal College of General Practitioners.

The research shows that both of Clark's sons died at the height of lung infection epidemics - evidence that points towards natural death.

At her trial in 1999, the Crown's star witness Professor Sir Roy Meadow told the jury that the chance of the babies dying naturally was 73 million to one.

But a BBC investigation has revealed Sir Roy had shredded his database before the double murder trial at Chester Crown Court.

Last year a joint investigation by the BBC and The Observer newspaper concluded that the discovery of a "cot death gene" by scientists also cast doubt on the safety of Clark's conviction and that of other mothers convicted of infanticide.

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The BBC's John Sweeney
"Sally Clark now hopes to gain a new hearing in the appeal court"
See also:

16 Feb 01 | Health
Cot death gene claim
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