Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Wednesday, 8 April 2009 11:46 UK

Toddler death inquiry probe held

Suzanne Holdsworth
Suzanne Holdsworth was acquitted at a retrial

An investigation is to be held into the police inquiry over the death of a Teesside toddler after his babysitter was wrongly convicted of murder.

Suzanne Holdsworth's conviction for the murder of two-year-old Kyle Fisher in Hartlepool was quashed in May 2008 by the Court of Appeal.

The 38-year-old, who now lives in Leeds, was acquitted at a retrial.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will manage a Cleveland Police investigation into its inquiry.

Kyle died on 23 July 2004 after suffering bleeding in his skull and brain swelling.

Ms Holdsworth was accused of causing his injuries by repeatedly banging the toddler's head against a wooden bannister.

She was convicted in March 2005 and jailed for life, spending three years in prison.

Kyle Fisher
Kyle Fisher died in July 2004

However, doubts were raised about her conviction by journalist John Sweeney in a report for BBC Newsnight .

At her retrial in December 2008, the jury was told about fresh evidence that established there was a reasonable possibility the toddler suffered a prolonged epileptic seizure which led to the swelling of his brain.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has agreed on the appointment of a retired police officer, who has never worked for Cleveland Police, to carry out the investigation.

IPCC Commissioner for the North East Gary Garland said: "Ms Holdsworth was acquitted of the murder of Kyle Fisher and complaints have now been made concerning the original investigation.

"It is important that the IPCC provides independent oversight to the review of this investigation to ensure the public can have confidence in the outcome."

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "As the IPCC-managed investigation is ongoing it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this stage."



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