Page last updated at 06:29 GMT, Monday, 26 October 2009

Freed babysitter still struggling


Ms Holdsworth spoke to Inside Out presenter Chris Jackson

A woman wrongly convicted of murdering a toddler while babysitting says she has been unable to rebuild her life.

Suzanne Holdsworth, who spent three years in jail before being acquitted in December 2008, told the BBC's Inside Out she was still severely traumatised.

Her retrial heard that two-year-old Kyle Fisher was not banged against a banister at her home in Hartlepool, but had suffered a fit.

Since being released she said she had lost the will to work or socialise.

Ms Holdsworth was found guilty of murder in March 2005 and given a life sentence.

Kyle Fisher
Kyle Fisher had existing brain abnormalities

However, doubts were raised when it emerged Kyle's brain had abnormalities which predisposed him to epilepsy, and the conviction was quashed.

At the retrial at Teesside Crown Court, the jury deliberated for two days before returning a not guilty verdict.

Ms Holdsworth's boyfriend, Lee Spencer, said the experience had transformed her into a tearful, clingy and agoraphobic person.

The couple now live with one of their daughters in Leeds.

The mother-of-two said: "It's like a jigsaw. Your life is all fixed together, it's all pieces - you know where you're going and what you're doing and what you want to do with your kids.

"Then they make this thing up that you're supposed to have done, throw you in jail, so they break the jigsaw.

Inside Out North East and Cumbria is on BBC One on Monday at 1930 BST
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"Then they throw you out and say there you are, you pick up the pieces."

Ms Holdsworth is now receiving support from Angela Cannings, who was cleared of murdering her baby sons in Wiltshire in 2003.

Mrs Cannings said: "I think Suzanne is still struggling with a lot of emotions.

"The only thing I can do is to keep reassuring her that this is normal, that if she perseveres, as time goes on she will improve, she will get better, she will get stronger and become more confident."

An IPCC investigation into Cleveland Police's handling of the case is ongoing.

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