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19 DEC 2007

Two jurors criticise guilty verdict in "shaken baby" case

Two jurors from the trial of Karen Henderson, who was convicted last month of shaking an 11-month old baby to death, have stated that they believe she is innocent and a miscarriage of justice has occurred.

The Times reports today that the jury foreman told the newspaper: "Many expert witnesses vouchsafe that the literature on shaken baby syndrome is contentious and far from complete. And so who caused the death, or whether anyone did, is not proved. The evidence, whether expert or other, was merely circumstantial - probabilities, therefore uncertainties". On Monday another jury member told BBC Five Live: "I believe that a miscarriage of justice has occurred and there's nothing I can do about it.

"I don't think you can get a fair outcome. I will never know as long as I live whether the verdict was right or not because I haven't, we haven't, got all this medical expertise, and I think if the medics can't even decide between themselves, what chance do we have?"

The jurors comments come at a time when expert witnesses in child abuse cases are under increased scrutiny following the General Medical Council's controversial decision earlier this month to strike off leading paediatrician, David Southall.

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