Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Brenda Waudby: (1): The Peterborough Examiner on her complete and utter exoneration earlier today in a Peterborough courtroom. Reporter Sarah Deeth.

STORY: "Judge overturns Waudby's 1999 child abuse conviction," by reporter Sarah Deeth, published in the Peterborough Examiner on June 27, 2012.

GIST: "Brenda Waudby is no longer a perpetrator of a violent crime against a child. She is no longer a criminal. She is now simply the mother to a young woman and a young man, and the grieving mother of a child whose violent murder was the event that set off her long legal nightmare. On Wednesday morning Madam Justice Michelle Fuerst overturned Waudby’s 1999 child abuse conviction, acquitting her of the charge. The ruling capped a 15-year ordeal for Waudby, the last step in a long, hard journey to clear her name. During the emotional Superior Court proceeding, Waudby heard something she’s waited 15 years for: an apology, issued by Crown attorney Alison Wheeler, who acknowledged that Waudby’s conviction was a miscarriage of justice. “The Crown apologizes to Brenda Waudby,” Wheeler said. Her child, 21-month-old Jenna, was the victim of a homicide, Wheeler said. “Ms. Waudby should have been treated as a grieving parent. She was not,” Wheeler said. Instead, Waudby became the prime suspect, interrogated by police and eventually charged with murdering her child in 1997. She was stigmatized by the community, Wheeler said, and her two children were taken from her by the Children’s Aid Society. It was wrong, Wheeler said, and it’s taken a long time to set it right. “For all of this, the Crown is deeply and sincerely sorry,” she said. It was an apology Waudby said she accepted whole-heartedly."..........The basis for both the child abuse and murder charge lay in the shoddy work of disgraced former child pathologist Dr. Charles Smith, who told investigators Jenna was injured while she was in Waudby’s care. Smith also said he discovered “old” rib injuries, which he said were an indication of previous abuse. Smith was later found to have given false testimony in a series of child death cases. He was stripped of his medical licence last year. Wheeler conceded that if the forensic pathology was done correctly in the first place, Waudby never would have been charged with anything. When the babysitter pleaded guilty Crown attorney Brian Gilkinson told court the sitter admitted that his blows to Jenna’s abdomen “would’ve” caused rib injuries. But there was an error in the official court transcript, and Gilkinson’s statement read, “wouldn’t have.” The transcript was entered into proceedings during the Goudge Inquiry, a 2007 hearing that examined Smith’s work and child pathology in the province. The error became part of the public record. It wasn’t discovered until Kirkpatrick sought a court order allowing her to listen to the taped recordings of the babysitter’s proceedings. The babysitter’s confession was never disclosed to Waudby, nor was a medical report that indicated Jenna’s injuries may not be old, or notes written by investigators that indicated they realized Waudby may not be guilty of child abuse. Waudby’s lawyer, Julie Kirkpatrick, hammered on these facts in her submissions to the court. As she put it, the babysitter’s confession and a new pathology report fit together like a hand and glove. “All of the injuries occurred in the same time frame, and occurred under the babysitter’s watch,” Kirkpatrick said. “It is now an incontrovertible fact that Jenna did not have any old injuries when she died,” Kirkpatrick said."

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;