Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bulletin: Sandra Higgins: UK; Shaken baby syndrome case; Jury to resume deliberations Thursday. (June 25); (News Talk);

"The trial has heard evidence that the child was fine on the morning and during the day of the alleged assault. Around 5pm Ms Higgins brought her to Cavan General Hospital where she presented with a brain bleed, detached retina and fractured ribs. She continued to have seizures for days. The prosecution alleges the baby's symptoms were consistent with a violent shaking. Doctors who treated the baby girl said it was highly likely that the injuries to the child happened while she was in the care of Ms Higgins and that the injuries were non-accidental. Expert witnesses for the defence said the evidence was more suggestive of a head trauma and could have been the re-activation of an old injury. The accused told Gardaí that she treated the baby as one of her own children and never assaulted her."
See earlier News Talk story on arguments to jury;  "Ms Higgins - with an address at The Beeches, Drumgola Wood in Cavan Town - has pleaded not guilty to causing serious harm to the child. The injuries suffered by the 10-month-old baby at the centre of this trial 'required violence', prosecutor Sean Gillane told jurors, and were undoubtedly in the realm of non-accidental injury. Central to the case put forward by the defence, Mr Gillane said, was the testimony of Dr Waney Squier - who questioned the diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome - Dr Squier 'was in fact a doctor without patients', he insisted, and the ultimate back seat driver. The defence offered a 'fixed, unshakable and wrongful view” of medical literature', he insisted, and told jurors that they were not being asked to reach a judgement on 'theories of science, medicine or life'. But were to use the most important tool available to them, their common sense. In closing, defence counsel Remy Farrell told jurors making a decision was not the same as 'having a bit of a punt' and he found it extraordinary that the prosecution would rubbish the testimony of a pathologist, in this case Dr Squier."