Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Brenda Waudby: Extraordinary revelations crucial to her bid to fully clear her name published in today's Toronto Star; (Must read. HL);

PUBLISHER'S VIEW: My friend and colleague Julian Sher investigated Brenda Waudby's case in his powerful TV documentary "A Mother's Ordeal," which was broadcast on Global TV. He has been following lawyer Julie Kirkpatrick's intensive, focused and committed efforts to fully clear Ms. Waudby's name, which still remains on Ontario's Child Abuse Registry. It is good to see the story on page one in The Toronto Star which played a significant role in putting Brenda Waudby's case on the map and exposing the havoc wreaked on so many lives - and on Ontario's criminal justice system - by former doctor Charles Smith. Above all, the story is a tribute to Brenda Waudby, a grieving mother of a murdered and sexually assaulted child who should have been treated with sympathy and compassion - and a competent police investigation - instead of being cast with tunnel vision as Baby Jenna's killer. She has pursued the task of fully clearing her name - and ensuring that Jenna's killer was brought to justice - with dignity in a patient, positive and intelligent manner, and a determination to ensure that the rights of other Canadians are protected. Her full exoneration cannot come soon enough. All eyes will be on the up-coming hearing set for June 27, 2012, in Peterborough, Ontario.

Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.


STORY: "Will disclosure of typo in court transcript fully clear name of Peterborough mom Brenda Waudby, wrongly accused of killing baby?" by Julian Sher, published in the Toronto Star on June 6, 2012. Photo caption: "Brenda Waudby has recently renewed efforts to clear her name in the 1997 death of her baby. In 2005, a babysitter confessed to the killing."

GIST: "Waudby was arrested in January 1997 for the murder of her 21-month-old daughter, Jenna, who was badly beaten, suffering from head trauma and more than a dozen fractured ribs. Two years later the charges were stayed — but not completely withdrawn — when the police and Crown realized there were problems with the medical evidence provided by the now discredited pathologist Charles Smith. Still, Waudby accepted a deal to plead guilty to a lesser charge of physically abusing her child in the days and weeks leading up the baby's death, fearful she might lose custody of her two other children with a murder accusation still hanging over her head. That guilty plea to this day keeps Waudby on the province’s registry as a child abuser. In a renewed effort to clear her name, Waudby filed an amended affidavit on May 24 before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice claiming that “the police and the Crown failed to disclose . . . evidence that exculpated her on the abuse charge.” Central to her appeal are new details about the rib injuries and a sexual assault that have emerged from the killer’s confession that has remained secret until recently...... Waudby’s affidavit states that according to the official transcript of that hearing, the Crown prosecutor told the court that the babysitter confessed to police that although he made “good solid jabs” to the girl’s stomach, his blows “wouldn’t have been enough force to break ribs.” But it was only five years later — in October 2011 — that Waudby and her lawyer, Julie Kirkpatrick, finally got hold of the killer’s confession as part of the disclosure for her current appeal. They discovered “J.D.” had told the police the exact opposite: In fact, he had stated that his blows “would’ve had enough force to break ribs.” The severity and timing of the rib fractures are crucial because when Waudby pleaded guilty to child abuse in 1999, the Crown insisted there were “old rib injuries” inflicted on Jenna before the night she died. Early this year, Kirkpatrick was able to listen to the tape of the youth court hearing. The audio recording indicates that the prosecutor had in fact correctly reported the babysitter’s statement that his blows “would” have broken Jenna’s ribs. It was the court transcript that erroneously slipped in the words “wouldn’t have” — and it was that transcript that became the only official record of what the babysitter had confessed. “It was clear that something that had gone horribly wrong,” said Kirkpatrick. Still, she does not blame the court staff for the error. “It was very difficult to hear, I could see how the mistake could happen,” Kirkpatrick said. Instead, she faults the Crown for taking several years to disclose the babysitter’s confession to Waudby. “They knew that he had admitted to all this stuff, how could nobody have gone back and told the mother of the baby accused of her death?” the lawyer said. “Had the confession been disclosed, none of these mistakes would have been left to fester. If people don’t have the right information, they can’t ask the right questions.” In response, Brendan Crawley, spokesman for the attorney-general, said in an email: “As this matter is ongoing, we will not be making any comment.”.........Waudby, now 47, has enrolled in a community college and hopes to graduate next spring as a paralegal law clerk, an ironic choice for someone so badly burned by the justice system. “I know I can’t change the system on my own but I want to do my best to make sure the rights of people are protected,” she said. Before that, she will have her own day in court. The hearing of her appeal to have her child abuse conviction overturned is scheduled for June 27 in Peterborough."

The entire story can be found at:


I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:

Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:

Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.