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Last Updated: Friday, 1 July, 2005, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Mother's call to 'punish' Meadow
Angela Cannings pictured during her appeal
Ms Cannings was given a life sentence in 2002
A mother, wrongly convicted of killing her babies following evidence from Professor Sir Roy Meadow, has hit back at claims he was made a "scapegoat".

Angela Cannings, originally from Wilts, said Prof Meadow should be "severely punished" after The Lancet's editor, Dr Richard Horton, spoke in his defence.

Dr Horton said Prof Meadow should not take the blame for a faulty system.

Prof Meadow could be struck off if found guilty of serious professional misconduct, which he denies.

'Misconceived pursuit'

The General Medical Council (GMC) disciplinary hearing is over evidence Prof Meadow gave in the trial of Sally Clark in 1999 who was jailed for killing her sons Christopher and Harry. Her conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2003.

Dr Horton argued Prof Meadow had provided the "lightning rod of blame" for the wrongful conviction of Mrs Clark.

But he added: "This misconceived pursuit of one man is wrong and threatens the effective delivery of child protection services in Britain."

Sir Roy Meadow
Sir Roy denies any serious professional misconduct

Dr Horton said Prof Meadow should never have been referred to the GMC, and should not have to take the blame for a system that was at fault.

Mrs Cannings, 42, was found guilty in 2002 of smothering her seven-week-old son Jason in 1991 and 18-week-old Michael in 1997 largely on the strength of Prof Meadow's evidence. She was later released by the Court of Appeal.

She said: "There has always been someone who will say he is not guilty."

She said she agreed in some ways that the system needed to be changed, but argued Prof Meadow should still be held accountable.

Mrs Cannings, originally from Salisbury, said: "Roy Meadow has been present in a number of these cases so it is no wonder he is being vilified.

"What the authorities have to do is start punishing the ones who do get it wrong and learn from what has happened to make sure the ones who are getting it right are given enough praise and back-up."


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