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Last Updated: Friday, 6 June, 2003, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Jury urged to 'ignore emotions'
Trupti Patel
Mrs Patel's denies murdering her three children
The jury in the trial of a mother accused of killing her three babies has been told not to let emotion rule reason when coming to a decision.

Prosecuting counsel Paul Dunkels QC said jurors must use "clinical assessment" of the facts and not "high emotion" when deciding Trupti Patel's fate.

In his closing speech at the end of the five-and-a-half week trial at Reading Crown Court, Mr Dunkels said they "must not flinch" from returning guilty verdicts.

Mrs Patel, a qualified pharmacist, denies murdering her two baby sons, Amar and Jamie, and baby daughter Mia, none of whom survived beyond the age of three months.

'Heavy heart'

All three collapsed in separate incidents at the Patels' family home in Maidenhead, Berkshire, between 1997 and 2001 and later died.

In court on Friday Mr Dunkels said: "Look at all the evidence, think about the whole story, when you do so you will be driven to the conclusion that you are sure that these babies were killed by this defendant.

"It may be a conclusion you come to with a heavy heart but if, as we suggest, it must be that conclusion and that you find that is what happened, you must not flinch from returning verdicts of guilty."

Mr Dunkels told the jury to "keep their feet on the ground" when considering the possibility that Patel's three babies had died from a rare inherited genetic or metabolic disorder.

Manslaughter verdict

"It is important that you keep your feet on the ground here, that you do not allow yourselves to be too beguiled by theories or propositions put forward by medical experts who, we suggest, are over-interpreting some of the facts, over-reaching for possibilities," he said.

He asked the jury to consider how likely it was that an inherited condition could have struck three of Patel's children, while not affecting either her, her mother or her grandmother.

Mr Dunkels said it was not necessary for the jury to find that Patel had plotted to smother or suffocate her children for them to find her guilty of murder.

He said it was enough for there to have been an intention to kill that came to her "in one moment" and then left, leaving her distressed.

Mr Dunkels told the jury that if it decided that Patel had smothered her babies but had not intended to kill them, then it could find her guilty of manslaughter.

He also reminded the jurors that they could return different verdicts on each of the three counts.

The trial continues.




SEE ALSO:
Chemical flaw 'caused baby deaths'
05 Jun 03  |  Berkshire
'Illness killed babies' says expert
04 Jun 03  |  Berkshire
Babies 'died natural deaths'
02 Jun 03  |  Berkshire
'Genetic link' to baby deaths
29 May 03  |  Berkshire
Patel grandmother 'lost five babies'
28 May 03  |  Berkshire
Babies taken to 'brink of death'
23 May 03  |  Berkshire
Mother denies killing children
22 May 03  |  Berkshire
Sudden death syndrome
19 Aug 99  |  Medical notes


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