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 providing fresh evidence on behalf of the defence on 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;


"SUZANNE Holdsworth said she had always loved Kyle Fisher, the child she had twice been accused of murdering," the story, by reporter Matt Westcott, begins under the heading, "I always loved Kyle, says Holdsworth after clearing her name."
"Speaking outside court, Lee Spencer, Ms Holdsworth's partner, read a statement out on her behalf," the December 18, 2008 story continues;

""This case has always been about Kyle, a loving child, a little boy who Suzanne has always loved and helped look after," he said.

"We know his family deeply loved him and miss him.

"Sadly, we now know that he had some bad medical features that led to his sudden collapse and death.

"We hope that this knowledge will help his family come to terms with his death.

"This has been a terrible experience for Suzanne and our family and we just now want to try and pick up the pieces and put our lives together.

"The legal team have been outstanding throughout all of this."

Solicitor Campbell Malone, who represented Ms Holdsworth, said the family would be seeking an apology from Cleveland Police.

Responding to reporters questions, Mr Malone said: "I think, if you are trying to extract wider principles, these cases like Suzanne's, where you are talking about infant head injuries, shows the importance of people being open-minded.

"When Suzanne was originally convicted, the police, in their annual publication, congratulated themselves and I hope they are going to take a deep, serious look at this investigation.

"I know that the one thing Suzanne would like to come out of this case is an apology from them.""