Wednesday, December 3, 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 mother of a two-year-old boy alleged to have been murdered by his babysitter was yesterday accused of being responsible for causing his fatal head injuries," the latest story by crime correspondent Neil Hunter begins, under the heading, "Mother denies causing her son's fatal injuries."

"Clare Fisher tearfully denied the suggestions by defence barrister Andrew Thomas QC, during courtroom exchanges in which she was branded a liar," the story continues;

"During cross-examination, Miss Fisher, 24, denied that she had been “short or snappy”

with her son, Kyle, in the days leading to his death in July 2004.

Miss Fisher was said to have been struggling to cope without her parents, who were on holiday in Tenerife, and swore at Kyle when she lost her temper during a game of dominoes.

In reply to an accusation from Mr Thomas that the then-teenage single mother had struck Kyle, Miss Fisher said: “I never, ever, raised a hand to him.”

She admitted that the weekend before her son’s death, she left him home alone with a broom handle against his bedroom door while she went out drinking.

Miss Fisher, who was 19 at the time, said it was “the stupidest thing I have ever done”

By Neil Hunter and something she would have to live with for the rest of her life.

She admitted her home was a mess and that she had not been “the most perfect mother in the world” but maintained she loved Kyle and would never hurt him.

It is said that babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth, 38, injured Kyle on Tuesday, July 20, while Miss Fisher was at the cinema, and again the following night while he stayed with her.

The prosecution says Mrs Holdsworth lost her temper on the Wednesday and repeatedly smashed Kyle’s head against a banister at her home on the Central Estate, Hartlepool.

Mr Thomas yesterday picked on the lies Miss Fisher told after she left Kyle alone when she went out, and the differing accounts she gave about his injuries.

During the second day of a retrial at Teesside Crown Court, he told Miss Fisher: “Sadly, the only explanation for Kyle’s many injuries over a number of days is that you were losing your temper with him.

“All we know is that on the Tuesday night, Kyle had very severe bruising, none of us will ever know – probably other than you – how Kyle got those bruises.”

Mrs Holdsworth, formerly of Millpool Close, Hartlepool, and now from Seacroft, Leeds, denies murder and faces a trial expected to last three weeks.

It was said that she had sole care for Kyle on the Tuesday evening, but it emerged yesterday that she may have gone to the shop for cigarettes at some point.

Miss Fisher admitted being in the bedroom alone with her son, and initially said Miss Holdsworth was in the garden, but later accepted her neighbour may have left.

The trial continues."