Friday, December 5, 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 TODDLER suffered brain injuries more often seen in victims of high-speed car crashes, a murder trial was told yesterday," the paper's latest story, dated 5 December, 2008 begins, under the heading, "Toddler's injuries common in car crashes.".

"Babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth denies hurting twoyear- old Kyle Fisher and maintains he suffered an unexpected fit at her home in Hartlepool, in July 2004," the story continues;

"The jury in the retrial of the 38-year-old has heard of the fatal head injuries Kyle suffered before his late-night collapse.

He was initially taken unconscious to his local hospital, and transferred to a specialist unit in Newcastle, where he died two days later.

Paediatric neurosurgeon Nicholas Todd was asked yesterday by Andrew Robertson QC, prosecuting, what had happened to Kyle.

Mr Todd said the “severe”

injuries were like those found in victims of high-speed crashes, roll-over traffic accidents and falls from height.

A paediatrician at Newcastle General Hospital, who specialises in child abuse, also gave evidence.

Dr Tony Waterston told the jury, at Teesside Crown Court, that he believed the injuries were “trauma from a heavy object”.

Ms Holdsworth was looking after Kyle at her home in Millpool Close while the boy’s mother, Clare, then 19, went out drinking.

It is alleged Ms Holdsworth, who now lives in Seacroft, Leeds, repeatedly banged Kyle’s head against a banister after she lost her temper on July 21.

She denies murder and insists he suffered an unexpected fit at her home."

The case continues.