Tuesday, December 2, 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 Northern Echo continued its reporting on December 2, 2008, with a story headed "Second day of babysitter's murder retrial" by crime correspondent Neil Hunter;

"THE mother of a two-year-old boy alleged to have been murdered by his babysitter gave evidence in court today," the story begins.

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

"During the tense cross-examination, Miss Fisher, 24, denied that she had been “short or snappy” with her son Kyle in the days leading up to his death in July 2004.

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

In reply to a direct accusation from Mr Thomas that the then-teenage single mother had struck Kyle, Miss Fisher maintained: “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 propped up against his bedroom door while she went out drinking.

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

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

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

Harold Levy...hlevy15@gmail.com;