Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ben Geen. UK: Former nurse; Independent statistical research raises doubts about his convictions for murdering two patients and grievous harm of 15 others as his lawyers make a "last-ditch attempt" to bring the case back to the appeal court. Sentenced to 30 years, his lawyer says Geen was used as a scapegoat because there were fears over a serial killer in the hospital - and that Geen was imprisoned for “crimes that were never committed but created to fit the circumstances." (Must Read. HL);

PUBLISHER'S  NOTE: Benjamin Geen's case resonates strongly with me because of my exposure to the wrongful prosecution of Nurse Susan Nelles in connection with the deaths of babies at the Hospital for Sick Children. Nelles was a victim of the hysteria triggered by the deaths of babies in a world-renowned hospital - and of a rush to arrest and prosecute before all the scientific evidence was in. Fortunately she was exonerated when the Provincial Court Justice David Vanek ruled that there was utterly no evidence of complicity and discharged her at the preliminary inquiry. Many years later, there is strong doubt as to whether any of the babies were murdered, and as explored in this Blog research has revealed a medical explanation for all of the death's.  (How horrible  if she - a loving, conscientious nurse - had been convicted and put away for 30 years as a murderer.)  Bearing all that in mind I have no hesitation in saying that Benjamin Geen's convictions cry out for appellate review bearing in mind what is now known about the flawed statistical evidence that was used to  put him behind bars - and bearing in mind how flawed statistical evidence has featured in wrongful convictions in more contemporary criminal cases

Harold Levy. Publisher. The Charles Smith Blog.

See my earlier post: "I am pleased to have the opportunity to devote some space to a newly published book: "The Nurses Are Innocent: The Digoxin Poisoning Fallacy," by Gavin Hamilton M.D. The title refers to the investigation of the deaths of babies at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1980 and 1981 for which a nurse named Susan Nelles was charged with murder. (My first free-lance story for the Toronto Star described Ms. Nelle's discharge at her preliminary hearing). I later wrote in the Star about the public inquiry in which Justice Samuel Grange found that babies had been murdered in spite of testimony which shredded the validity of digoxin tests conducted by Ontario's Centre for Forensic Sciences and raised a significant doubt as to whether any babies had been murdered. Now Dr. Hamilton, a retired radiologist, has, at least in my mind, provided the real reason for the deaths of the unfortunate babies at the renowned hospital: A toxin found in natural rubber which is technically like digoxin, which was used in disposable plastic syringes and intravenous devices. As the late Dr. Peter Macklem, the above noted witness at the Grange Inquiry, says in his preface to this book: "What can be learned from this black stain on Canada's judicial system? One lesson certainly stands out: We cannot ever again allow a group of unqualified amateur diagnosticians to make life and death decisions about such important matters as potential serial murders.""

STORY: "Nurse 'was victim of Shipman hysteria', by Hannah Devlin, Science Editor and Sean O'Neill, crime editor, of the The Times, published by the Times on December 15, 2014.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Ben Geen is serving a 30-year sentence for murdering two patients."

GIST:  "Hospital patients said to have been killed or poisoned by a “thrill-seeking” nurse may have died or collapsed as a result of natural causes, fresh evidence suggests. Independent statistical research has emerged that raises doubts about the jailing of Ben Geen, who is serving 30 years for the murder of two patients and the grievous harm of 15 others, but the research cannot be heard in court. Geen, 34, an ex-army reservist, was convicted in 2006 of injecting patients with potentially lethal drugs causing them to stop breathing so that he could “satisfy his lust for excitement” by reviving them. However, his legal team has argued that the respiratory arrests suffered by patients were not the “extremely rare” events portrayed at his trial. Mark McDonald, a barrister, said Geen was imprisoned for “crimes that were never committed but created to fit the circumstances”.  Geen’s lawyers approached statisticians because of concerns that the prosecution’s claims of the rarity of the incidents were made without the careful evidence-gathering needed to show a truly unusual pattern of events. They said the case raised the same questions about expert evidence as the case of Sally Clark, wrongly convicted of murdering her two baby sons in 1999 partly on the basis of flawed statistics. A last-ditch attempt is now being made by Geen and his campaigners to persuade the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) to refer the case to the Appeal Court, which has already upheld the conviction once.........Jane Hutton, of the University of Warwick, said evidence given at the original trial “was of no value in supporting a conclusion there was an unusual pattern, nor a conclusion that any unusual pattern was not a chance event”. The key issue was the poor quality of the evidence relied on by the courts, she said, adding: “I’m not taking a stance on innocence or guilt. There are standards of evidence and these weren’t met.”"

The entire story can be found at:

Dear Reader. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog. We are following this case.
I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:
I look forward to hearing from readers at:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;