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Last Updated: Monday, 23 June, 2003, 23:52 GMT 00:52 UK
CPS moves on child death cases
Sally Clark and husband
Sally Clark was originally barred from practising as a solicitor in 2001
The evidence of two medical experts criticised after the Sally Clark appeal could be the subject of a Crown Prosecution Service review.

Mrs Clark was freed by the Court of Appeal in January - after spending more than more than three years in prison - when it overturned her convictions for killing two of her children.

Now officials are establishing whether an "in-depth review" is needed of past cases involving Professor Sir Roy Meadow or Dr Alan Williams.

Professor Meadow was a witness at the recent Trupti Patel trial where he asserted three unexplained deaths of children in one family was "very unusual".

He had earlier told the original trial of Mrs Clark that two cot deaths in one family were a "one in 73 million chance" - something disputed by statisticians.

Active cases

Pathologist Dr Williams was criticised by the appeal judges in the Clark case for failing to disclose certain information.

Prosecution lawyers have been told to identify any active cases involving the pair and inform defence teams of the comments directed at them by the Court of Appeal in the Clark case earlier this year.

Mrs Patel's recent acquittal of killing three of her children has swung the spotlight back onto trials of parents whose children have died unexplained deaths.

A statement from the CPS said: "Interim guidance has been issued by the CPS to its prosecutors.

"It aims to clarify facts that emerged in the Sally Clark case and the effects that this judgment would have regarding disclosure in other cases involving Dr Williams and Professor Meadow.

"Prosecutors were asked to familiarise themselves with the Sally Clark judgment and their attention to be drawn to the specific paragraph where the Court of Appeal made comments regarding Dr William and Professor Meadow."

Grieving process

It added: "Chief prosecutors have been asked to identify existing cases involving these experts and notify the defence of the judgment in the case.

"Regarding past cases the CPS is in discussion with other agencies. It is anticipated that this will identify whether there is a need for an in-depth review of past cases and if so the extent of that review."

Mrs Patel was found not guilty of murdering children Amar, Jamie and Mia following a six-week trial at Reading Crown Court.

She told Channel 4 she could now begin the grieving process.

"We feel we have started our grieving process and we have key dates, birthdays and anniversaries that tend to be very poignant.

"Mia (the last child to die) has been a very different story and I still feel that grief will come out in years to come and on a slower process."




SEE ALSO:
Patel mother suffers child ban
13 Jun 03  |  Berkshire
Patel case raises questions
11 Jun 03  |  England
Mother cleared of killing babies
11 Jun 03  |  Berkshire
The science behind cot deaths
11 Jun 03  |  Health
Judges explain baby death ruling
11 Apr 03  |  Manchester


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