Thursday, December 18, 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;


"A MURDER trial jury began its second day of deliberations in the case of babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth today," reporter Gareth Lightfoot reports in a December 18, 2008 story headed "Second day for jury in Holdsworth trial";

"The jury of eight men and four women began their considerations yesterday morning," the sEvening Gazette story continues;

"Suzanne Holdsworth, 38, of Boggart Hill Drive, Seacroft, Leeds, denies the murder of two-year-old Kyle Fisher.

The prosecution alleged she attacked the toddler, causing him to collapse with fatal brain swelling, at her then home on Millpool Close, Hartlepool on July 21, 2004.

The defence suggested Kyle was mistreated by his mother Clare, and he collapsed with an seizure because of earlier injuries and a series of brain conditions."