Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Frits Van Beelen: Australia; (Henry Keogh Part Four: How former forensic pathologist Dr. Colin Manock may have tarnished hundreds of cases): Van Beelen's 1971 murder conviction stands, despite Chief Justice finding he was victim of ‘substantial miscarriage of justice.'... Van Beelen, 69, relied on 2013 legislation allowing historic convictions to be appealed if “fresh and compelling evidence” arose in an effort to win a retrial over the murder at Taperoo Beach. During a previous hearing, Van Beelen’s lawyers claimed the evidence of former forensic pathologist Dr Manock was unreliable, particularly regarding Ms Leach’s time of death and his claims she had been sexually assaulted after being murdered."..."Chief Justice Kourakis said the new evidence was both fresh and compelling and found that “a substantial miscarriage of justice has occurred” and that it was “significantly possible” a jury armed with the evidence would have acquitted Van Beelen. He found that Dr Manock’s testimony at trial that Ms Leach had died no more than four hours after eating lunch was “plainly wrong and without scientific foundation”. “Dr Manock proceeded on an assumption that there was a ‘normal’ time for the emptying of the stomach. It is that assumption which has been falsified by the subsequent research,” he found. The Chief Justice ruled that Van Beelen’s murder conviction should be quashed and a new trial ordered — however Justices Ann Vanstone and Trish Kelly ruled the appeal should not be granted. Justice Vanstone found that while the new evidence was fresh, it was not compelling and did not reach the threshold under the new legislation."..."Legal academic Dr Bob Moles, who has spearheaded a number of challenges to convictions including that of Henry Keogh, said the High Court appeal could open the floodgates for up to 400 other people convicted of crimes using Dr Manock’s evidence. Dr Moles said it could be proven Dr Manock was not an expert nor qualified to give expert evidence in criminal trials. “We think that all of Dr Manock’s cases ought to be reviewed anyway and we think the government should set up a special commission of inquiry in order to deal with these,” Dr Moles said. “Otherwise we face the unenviable process of 400 cases being processed through the court and being fought tooth and nail by the DPP’s office and the costs involved with that could be phenomenal.”

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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:

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