Monday, May 26, 2008
Part Thirteen: Think Dirty; Donna Anthony; A Moving Post-Script: "Look St All The Suffering Since Then."
”SHE WAS CONDEMNED BY THEORY BASED ON SUSPICION MASQUERADING AS MEDICAL OPINION, WHICH WAS COMPLETELY WRONG”, HE ADDED.
FELICITY MCCALL; FROM POST-SCRIPT PUBLISHED ON WEB-SITE DEDICATED TO FREEING DONNA ANTHONY;
This moving "post-script" - described as a "Conviction Quashed Addendum - appeared on a Web-Site dedicated to freeing Donna Anthony under the heading: "Look at all the suffering since then."
It describes the horrific consequences caused to innocent parents, caregivers and their families when societies abandon reason, go on crusades, and rely on so-called experts like Drs. Charles Smith, Roy Meadow, and David Southall to achieve their misguided ends.
"On Monday, April 11, 2004, Donna Anthony finally walked free after the Appeal Court quashed her “guilty” verdict as unsafe and unsound," the post-script begins.
"The legal ruling was something of a formality; the crucial breakthrough had come 18 months earlier when the same court had cleared Angela Cannings of murdering her two babies," it continues.
"It had taken six years and sends the 31 year old out into a world where she is effectively homeless and has no family.
Her mother died when she was in prison.
Her husband, from whom she is divorced, had originally said he believed she had smothered her 11 month old daughter Jordan and a year later four month old Michael.
Throughout her questioning, trial and imprisonment Ms Anthony had maintained they were victims of cot death.
Her former husband now says he “accepts the appeal court’s judgement.”
Outside the Appeal Court, it was left to Donna Anthony’s solicitor, George Hawkes, to speak for her.
She was, he said “overwhelmed by her freedom”.
”She was condemned by theory based on suspicion masquerading as medical opinion, which was completely wrong”, he added.
Mr Hawkes said the whole episode” had completely shattered her life”.
“There are immense problems facing her out there which she has got to cope with, and she is going to need a lot of help and assistance” he added, as Ms Anthony, a silent, shadowy figure, was ushered into a waiting car.
The smiling young mother in the baby photographs reproduced at her trial seems a lifetime away. No amount of compensation can buy her back.
As the ruling was announced, newspapers were already reporting that the discredited paediatrician Sir Roy Meadow whose evidence had effectively sealed her conviction, has been paid £50,000 to testify in court.
The head of the Royal College of Paediatricians, Sir Alan Craft, says “lessons are being learned” from what he called “these difficult cases.”