I believe that Sally Clark will eventually be proven innocent and this case recognised as a miscarriage of justice when the full details of both trials are brought to light. Especially 13the prosecution not disclosing the key findings of the lab report pointing to the potentially fatal infection in baby Harry. Professor James Morris, leading pathologist, and consultant at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary added "no other cause of death is sustainable" And yet, throughout this trial, the jury remained in the dark about this evidence of Sally's innocence.
This is in direct contravention of The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996. This non-disclosure is all too similar to the cases of the Maguire seven and the Birmingham Six. In the case of the Maguire seven, the defendants were condemned upon the results of hand swabs which tested positive for nitro-glycerine. It was not disclosed at trial that each swab had under gone a different test which proved negative, even though these results were recorded in the same book.
Similar scientific tests were carried out by the Royal Armaments Research and Development Establishment and were never mentioned, or revealed to the defence. This bears a striking resemblance to Sally's case as does the fact that during the nine months leading up to her trial requests made by the defence for copies of the medical reports were either ignored or refused. At the trial of the Birmingham Six, the expert witness Dr Skusse's positive test results for nitro-glycerine arose from cross contamination from the sticky tape used for wrapping samples.
This was dismissed as irrelevant by the scientist and remained undisclosed at the trial. The disclosure of this evidence of cross-contamination destroyed Dr Skusse's credibility and formed part of the basis for the quashing of the convictions in 1991. When the Court of Appeal accepted the evidence of the pathologist Alan Williams, it was supported by only one of the experts, against five eminent defence experts, and in critical respects also, three of the prosecution's experts, (one against eight), this is a paradox that bewilders medical and legal observers alike.
Matters excluded at the trial as irrelevant and prejudicial, namely character assassinations were introduced only in Judgment, which meant that Sally team were not given the opportunity to refute. This is an affront to natural justice, particularly when the many character witnesses waiting would have confirmed Sally as an impeccable mother. Equally disturbing is the presumption by the Appeal Court that Sally and Steve lied.
Given opportunity, there are independent witnesses who will confirm that they did not. The analysis on double cot death shows that that true statistics are more like I in 415 which is much more frequent than the jury were led to believe. Yet when this tragic event occurred, it was regarded as such an unlikely event that justice was allowed to be turned on its head, and the burden of proof reversed. Sally Clark was somehow expected to prove her innocence rather than the prosecution prove her guilt.
It is not clear how Sally could have done this when SIDS, by definition is a natural sudden infant death for which no adequate explanation can be found. When Sally's conviction is quashed, Article 5(2)-(5) of the Human Rights Act 1998 states that 'Everyone who has been the victim of arrest or detention in contravention of the provisions of this article shall have an enforceable right to compensation. ' The payment of compensation is now covered under section 133 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
This states that when a person has been pardoned on the grounds that newly discovered facts show beyond reasonable doubt that there has been a miscarriage of justice, the Secretary of State shall pay compensation to the person who has suffered punishment as a result of such conviction. Compensation will not be given automatically, it has to be applied for, and ultimately the question of whether she has a right to compensation will be determined by the Secretary of State. If it is to be awarded, the amount will be assessed by an assessor appointed by the Secretary of State.