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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 11:26 GMT

Cleared mother in new cash battle

Lorraine Harris
Lorraine Harris's manslaughter conviction was quashed

A mother who was cleared of shaking her baby son to death but later refused compensation for the years she spent in prison has been told she can appeal.

Lorraine Allen, 38, was jailed for three years in 2000 for the manslaughter of her baby son Patrick.

Mrs Allen, formerly of Derbyshire but now living in Scarborough, was one of two people whose "shaken baby" convictions were quashed in 2005.

She was told she could appeal after her 2007 bid for compensation was refused.

Mrs Allen, formerly Harris, was prevented from attending Patrick's funeral and served 16 months behind bars.

Patrick McGuire
Patrick McGuire was four months old when he died

A son, born as she began her sentence, was taken away just hours after she gave birth and forcibly adopted.

By the time her conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2005, she had already been released from prison.

Her lawyers had argued that medical opinion given by experts at her trial had changed, making the conviction unsafe.

But the Home Office refused her application for compensation, saying the 1988 Criminal Justice Act stated that it should be paid only where a "newly discovered fact" established a clear miscarriage of justice.

In December 2007, Mrs Allen appealed against the decision at the High Court, but her bid was refused.

Mrs Allen's solicitor, Mike Pemberton, said she welcomed the decision to grant her leave to appeal.

He said: "This has been a long road for Lorraine.

"However, this appeal allows her continued hope that some kind of just closure will be obtained and allow her to deal with the traumatic events she has endured."

SEE ALSO
'I lost faith in justice'
12 Dec 07 |  England
Cleared mother loses cash battle
10 Dec 07 |  Derbyshire
Baby killer mother set to appeal
21 Apr 05 |  Derbyshire

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