[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 07:56 GMT
Salt poison couple's court appeal
Ian and Angela Gay
Ian and Angela Gay have always denied poisoning Christian
A couple convicted of killing their foster son by poisoning him with salt are to begin an appeal.

Ian and Angela Gay have always denied poisoning three-year-old Christian Blewitt, who died after falling ill at the couple's home in Bromsgrove, Worcs.

But the couple were convicted of his manslaughter in January last year.

Lawyers for the couple will tell the Court of Appeal the boy suffered from a rare condition which accounts for the high salt levels found in his body.

William Bache, from the couple's new legal team, told BBC Breakfast the condition was "fairly obscure and many people simply don't know about it, including the doctors".

'Natural explanation'

Mrs Gay's brother, Carl Swain, said he hoped the argument would clear his sister and her husband.

Christian Blewitt
Christian Blewitt was placed with the couple in 2002

"It's a very rare condition and the first time round at trial, obviously it was missed and the jury weren't presented with any other cause other than salt poisoning.

"We've got a very well respected expert who we hope will explain it to the three judges, and they will hopefully see that there is a natural explanation to how Christian died."

The Gays, who are both 38 and moved to Halesowen in the West Midlands after Christian's death, were jailed for five years each following their convictions.

Christian was taken to Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley on 8 December 2002, after being found unconscious in his room. He died four days later.

Tests found he had excessive levels of sodium in his blood and CT scans established he had suffered brain damage.

Medical evidence was inconclusive, and after the trial one expert witness for the defence, Home Office pathologist Dr Peter Acland, suggested there was "significant doubt" about the guilty verdict.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See home video footage of Christian Blewitt



SEE ALSO:
Salt poison couple's letter plea
14 Mar 05 |  Hereford/Worcs
Salt case couple 'wrongly jailed'
20 Feb 05 |  Hereford/Worcs
Salt poison case couple convicted
13 Jan 05 |  Hereford/Worcs
Pair 'had second thoughts on boy'
23 Nov 04 |  Hereford/Worcs
Couple 'poisoned boy with salt'
22 Nov 04 |  Hereford/Worcs


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific