Tuesday, December 9, 2008



Babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth, who has previously found guilty of murdering her neighbour's two-year-old son by repeatedly banging the boy's head against a wooden banister, has won an appeal against her conviction. She has been 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 providing fresh evidence on behalf of the defence is 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;


"THE jury in the Holdsworth murder trial has heard the defendant's denials of allegations that she caused a two-year-old boy fatal injuries while he was in her care," the Evening Gazette story by reporter Gareth Lightfoot, under the heading "Holdsworth trial: Babysiter tells of toddler's collapse," begins;

"Suzanne Holdsworth told police her evening turned into a “nightmare” when Kyle Fisher suddenly had a fit and collapsed in her living room while she was babysitting him," the story, dated December 9, 2008, continues;

"She said in police interviews read to Teesside Crown Court yesterday: “I didn’t hurt him. The only thing I did was look after that child.

“I never hurt him. I wouldn’t hurt any child.”

The boy was taken ill at her home on Millpool Close, Hartlepool on July 21, 2004. He became critically ill and died in hospital two days later.

The police alleged that the 38-year-old mum-of-two banged Kyle’s head against her banisters.

Holdsworth, 38, replied: “I understand the questions and the implications, but you don’t understand me. I didn’t hurt the child.

“There’s no more I can say to you.

“I know I didn’t hurt Kyle and I’ll tell you that all day long.

“I looked after that kid and he played with my children.”

The day she was charged with murder, Holdsworth was told there was medical evidence that Kyle was assaulted between being dropped off at her home and her 999 call.

She was told by a detective: “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have the doctors saying what they’re saying.”

The jury heard there was no DNA, hair samples or blood recovered from the banisters at Holdsworth’s house.

“Because I haven’t done anything,” said Holdsworth.

She said there was nothing in her house that could cause his injuries, and said her only knowledge of how he received them was a fall out of bed.

She said Kyle was his “usual chirpy self” that day.

That night, she said he drank juice, ate yogurt and watched Big Brother before he started nodding off on her sofa.

She said: “I went, ‘Come on Kyle, time for bed.’ He went, ‘Suzy knackered.’

“I’ve stood up, Kyle stood up and he’s turned a little bit and all of a sudden his head just went dead floppy.

“His head just flopped and his body froze and his fists clenched.

“Kyle’s just fell to the floor.

“I picked him straight up and his eyes were rolling back.”

She said she took him to the kitchen and splashed cold water on him to try to wake him up. “Because I didn’t know what happened.

“I’ve got him in my arms. I’m just throwing water on him. It didn’t do anything.

“I’ve never seen him like that before.”

She said she panicked and screamed as she called 999. She said Kyle was hitting himself and grunting.

She called Kyle’s mother Clare, then 19, and told her Kyle was having a fit.

She admitted telling lies to protect Miss Fisher because the mum didn’t want people to know she had left Kyle on his own days earlier.

The prosecution was expected to finish its case today.

Holdsworth, now of Boggart Hill Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, denies murder.


Harold Levy...hlevy15@gmail.com;