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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Protest over mothers' arrests
Trupti Patel
Trupti Patel was cleared of murdering three of her children
Parents who say they have been wrongly accused of murdering or abusing their children have called for a public inquiry into their cases.

In a protest outside the High Court angry mothers and fathers - some wearing gags and waving placards - also demanded reform of the family law system.

The protest comes after the high profile cases of Trupti Patel, found not guilty of murdering her three infants, and Sally Clark, cleared on appeal of killing her two children.

Leading paediatrician Professor Sir Roy Meadow gave evidence in both women's trials.

Protesters outside the High Court and some MPs have called for an inquiry into cases where he was called.

'Misery'

Among those outside the High Court was Terry Cannings.

Sally Clark and husband
Sally Clark was freed on appeal

His wife Angela is appealing against her conviction last year for murdering two of their children.

He said: "Every day since she was convicted has been a misery.

"Angela has lost control of her life and I have lost control of my life."

'Very unusual'

Crown Prosecution Service officials are looking at whether an "in-depth review" is needed of past cases involving Professor Sir Roy Meadow or pathologist Dr Alan Williams.

Sir Roy told the trial of Trupti Patel, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, that in his opinion three unexplained deaths of children in one family was "very unusual".

He testified at the original trial of Mrs Clark and said two cot deaths in one family were a "one in 73 million chance" - something disputed by statisticians.

He has also been a key witness in civil cases in the family courts.

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

'Extremely important'

Among the MPs backing calls for an inquiry is Labour Tony Colman

He told the BBC: "It's extremely important for the public to feel that there has not been a miscarriage of justice.

"It's important for everybody, including Professor Sir Roy Meadow, to ensure that these cases are reviewed."

Hundreds of cases would have to be re-examined if the review went ahead.




SEE ALSO:
Trupti Patel says 'no more children'
21 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


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