Thursday, December 18, 2008



Babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth, who was previously found guilty of murdering her neighbour's two-year-old son by repeatedly banging the boy's head against a wooden banister, won an appeal against her conviction. She was granted bail after Court of Appeal Judges declared her conviction for the murder of a toddler "unsafe" in the light of new medical evidence.

Acting for Suzanne, Henry Blaxland QC of Garden Court's Crime team argued that new evidence showed she was the victim of a miscarriage of justice over the death of the two-year old boy. The Court of Appeal was told that they child had abnormalities which predisposed him to epilepsy.

Henry Blaxland QC said that the doctors who gave evidence at trial "got it wrong" and "collectively failed to diagnose" that the Kyle had a "highly unusual brain", which indicated three abnormalities, two of which predisposed him to epilepsy."

Henry Blaxland QC also stated that the prosecution's case at trial 'was based on expert medical opinion evidence to the effect that the child died from fatal brain swelling or oedema which was caused by a blow or blows of significant force.'

A jury was told in 2005 that the mum-of-two smashed the toddler’s head against a bannister with the force of “a car crash at 60mph," Yet Kyles's skull was unbroken and there was no evidence of hair, blood or tissue on the wood.

One of the experts who provided fresh evidence on behalf of the defence at Holdsworth's second trial, was forensic pathologist Dr. Christopher Millroy who participated in the Ontario Chief Coroner's Review of suspicious death of infant's cases involving Dr. Charles Smith and later testified at the recently concluded Goudge Inquiry;


Penny Mellor, a co-founder of the Angela Cannings Foundation, runs a Web-site which is dedicated to exposing "Shaken Baby and unsafe convictions."

Her postings are accompanied by the words of John F. Kennedy, who said: "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. John F. Kennedy 35th president of US 1961-1963 (1917 - 1963);"

"The verdict has come in on Suzanne's case, NOT GUILTY no doubt there will be a media furore, some claiming to have "solved" the case, some reporting on "how could this happen again", the Clark and Cannings cases being cited as other examples along with the shaken baby appeals," Mellor begins her first comments following the acquittal;

"First of all without Suzanne and Lee continually protesting her innocence, there would have been no appeal or retrial and believe me, given the incentives to cop a plea, lesser sentences and early release dates, it's no mean feat to hold on to that truth and shout it from the rooftops, not to mention how much attention that attracts for the family bringing a whole new set of problems," she continues;

"So before everyone takes title to this case, let me make it clear, Suzanne, Lee, Jamie-lee and Leslie are the true heroes.

Secondly, Suzanne has had the benefit of an outstanding legal team, a legal team who have a particular expertise in cases like this, their appointment of experts for the defence was a very carefully thought through and absolutely brilliant process in which they ensured that they instructed the very best experts in the world with regard to Kyle's brain conditions. I take my hat off to Campbell Malone, Peter Wilcock (from my favourite Chambers, Tooks who was also Ian Gay's barrister) and the absolutely outstanding silk Andrew Thomas, who inherited this case only weeks before the retrial started and has been able to absorb and present this very complex medical case in such a short space of time; fearless in the face of a very difficult job, genius in its presentation to the jury, these are the sort of lawyers that make our legal system the very best in the world.

Thirdly I want to thank the jury for their diligence in a case that at times must have been very hard for them emotionally, these are the hardest cases to listen to. So thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Finally, I have to thank the media for highlighting this case, this, however is their job and without the cooperation of the above, they would not have this case, they also have more money to chuck around than the defence, who are on a very tight legally aided budget, so are able to cherry pick which bits of a case they investigate.

Sue, Lee and the children, live your lives for today from now on, it has been an absolute pleasure working with you all and this is yet another friendship that will only go onto grow.

May Kyle now rest in peace in your hearts, I know how much you all loved him and I hope that now you will have time to grieve for the little boy you cared for and nurtured, who became so much part of your wonderful family and whose short life was so much more enhanced because of you all. Never forget that and hold onto the knowledge that nothing you could have done would have saved his life, so remember the good times you had with him and live your lives with the happy memories, not those that have been created by the system.

Love you all XXX;