Page last updated at 18:02 GMT, Friday, 23 May 2008 19:02 UK

Childminder's bid to clear name

Keran Henderson
Henderson was babysitting 11-month-old Maeve Shepherd

A childminder jailed for five years for shaking a baby to death will have her appeal against conviction heard before the end of the year, judges have said.

Keran Henderson, 43, of Iver Heath in Buckinghamshire, was convicted of the manslaughter of Maeve Sheppard.

Henderson was babysitting Maeve at her parents' home in 2005 in Slough, Berkshire, when she fell unconscious.

Evidence given by medical experts during Henderson's trial is being called into question by her legal team.

Experts for the Crown Prosecution Service said injuries to the baby were caused by her neck being violently snapped back and forth.

But Henderson's legal team now want to bring fresh medical evidence before the Appeal Court.

In her defence Henderson's legal team at Reading Crown Court argued that Maeve suffered a seizure while she was changing her nappy.

Maeve Sheppard
Maeve Sheppard died at her parents' home in Slough

Her barrister, Andrew Scott, told the Court of Appeal that he had looked at the recent case of Hartlepool woman, Suzanne Holdsworth, for guidance.

Ms Holdsworth's conviction for murdering two-year-old Kyle Fisher was quashed in May after judges heard fresh medical evidence. She is now facing a retrial.

Mr Scott said he would be relying on evidence that Maeve may have died from bleeding in her skull as a result of a "short fall" several days before her death.

Lord Justice Hughes, sitting with Mr Justice Saunders and Mr Justice MacDuff, said the "real point" was "whether there is fresh evidence that suggests the conviction is unsafe".

The judge said Henderson's appeal would be heard towards the end of this year.


SEE ALSO
Childminder jailed for baby death
13 Nov 07 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Childminder denies killing baby
22 Aug 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts
Carer charged with killing baby
15 May 06 |  Beds/Bucks/Herts

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