One is a tragedy, two is suspicious, three is murder. ‘Meadow’s Law’ – except he plagiarised that phrase, like everything else he did or said it was fraudulent. This phrase was in fact a phrase first used by an American forensic pathologist who specialised in sudden infant deaths; Janice Ophoven. Great soundbite for the media and CPS though, especially when selling your product ‘murdering mothers’ and he was selling a product, he was rewarded handsomely for his ‘expertise’ in court.
Why am I regurgitating this totally misleading phrase?
When three babies out of the four Angela Cannings had died, Angela was swooped upon by an almost hysterical criminal justice system and falsely accused of murdering them. None of these babies had a mark on them, nothing, absolutely nothing was found at post mortem; despite what can only be described as the butchering of her last child. A post mortem that went to the most appalling lengths to try and ‘prove’ mum did it. A post mortem report that made me physically sick within minutes of starting to read it. A post mortem report that I have never let Angela read given what they had done. A post mortem for which years later we had to request many body parts to be returned.
The zeal to ‘prove’ her guilt went beyond anything that could be considered humane. It was ‘obsessive’. The CJS had no evidence so they kept going and going trying to find it. When they could not find any, they then went down the route of mother has an undetected MH problem as the motive. They just would not let it go and destroyed an entire family in their pursuit of ‘their’ truth. Which was nothing more than a case built on sand.
These are just some of the facts the public never get to hear about. This was the last post mortem report involving a baby I would ever read. I cannot unsee what I know and what I know is that there are no depths to which the CJS will not plunge to make a case. It horrifies me. I know that before you even get to court, if the powers that be decide you are guilty, there are no lengths to which they will not go to ‘prove’ you did it. They will knowingly help convict the innocent rather than own up to their mistakes. The mantra of ‘I believe’ has destroyed fairness and obliterated the presumption of innocence.
I am not a lawyer. I am not a doctor. I am a campaigner. I am a campaigner that gets into the details of a case. I have the luxury of having time to go over all the evidence. I have the time and the will, to talk at length to the accused. Gleaning all the minute details of their lives leading up to the deaths of their children. I religiously researched medical conditions and adverse drug events. I looked for patterns by cross referencing the copious amounts of medical records that I was sent by the families or their legal teams. I cross referenced expert medical reports looking for inconsistencies and I found them. In some cases the well remunerated experts were contradicting themselves. This went unnoticed because the cases were being tried in different courts in front of different judges defended by different legal teams. It needed a ‘me’ to look at the evidence in its entirety rather than in isolation.
I was in the unique position of being able to do what lawyers or their experts could not do. I had unparalleled insight into the cases I worked on because I had time. More importantly, I started with the presumption of innocence, this meant I put abuse to one side and looked for the evidence that supported innocence, not prove innocence, that was not my job, nor that of anyone else, it is only guilt that requires proof … she writes knowing that in reality this is no longer the case.
I was impartial, I really was, something that can no longer be said about the police or CPS. They ‘believe’ and as a direct result of that, look for patterns confirming guilt. I have and still am called obsessive. Well that ‘obsessiveness’ (I call it due diligence) has helped to release innocent people and prevented others from going to prison. It has also ensured that children who had been taken from the parents in the family courts have been returned. I will not apologise for my determination to ensure that every reasonable avenue has been explored and contrary to popular belief that works both ways. In 20 years 3 parents have admitted their guilt to me, not to the authorities and I have worked with their legal teams to ensure that this was acted upon. In the last 18 months I have been instrumental in helping to secure the conviction of a predatory child abuser and his wife, whilst supporting their victims. I do not cover up child abuse.
Much of what happened to Angela was galvanised by a narcisstic need for recognition within the hierarchy of the medical profession. Sir Roy Meadow, an “expert” in infant deaths, he wasn’t, he was a nephrologist who sold the CJS a puppy and they fell for it. He became a lauded witness, a ‘buy to lie’ expert as it turned out. A point I made back in 2000, for which I was villified. The system can’t get it wrong, it does not like admitting it was conned, Just as very few victims of fraud report to the police, they are too embarrassed that they were taken in and when it begins to realise that it did get beguiled, it launches an attack on its detractors to undermine their position. Roy Meadow started from the viewpoint that any baby death was suspicious and mother’s suffering from undetected mental health problems were running amok murdering innocent children. We called it the Allit effect. Sounding familiar …. change the wording from baby killer to VIP paedophile rings and you’re there.
Let me state for the benefit of the people that call me an apologist or sympathiser that I am acutely aware of the fact that some parents/carers kill or abuse children and that some of those parents are child abusers or mentally ill. I had my fair share of them over a 20 year period. Not everyone I came across was innocent. However a significant amount of them were convicted on hypothesis alone. That is something I do object to. Others were clearly mentally ill and should not have been put on trial, they needed help, not prison. Angela did not fall into these categories . There was no evidence to support the allegations that were made. None.
The list of falsely accused parents is endless. Many anonymous as the cases were conducted in the family courts, the public unaware that the Cannings/Clark scenario was being played out secretly in courts across the U.K. The hunt was on for the ‘baby killers’ and nothing was out of bounds, the CJS did everything in its power to get guilty verdicts in both courts. Confirmation bias being the sole basis upon which these cases were being tried and as each finding of guilt came in, it was used to underpin the reasons to continue pursuing the theory, the more allegations there were, the more they reassured themselves they were on the right path. This is the very definition of confirmation bias. Not once did any one of them stop and take a long hard look at the hypothesis that started it all. It was a witch hunt and they had it all sewn up, if you couldn’t get the parents in the criminal division, drop them into the Family court and use the finding of fact judgements stating abuse by parent as further evidence to support hypothesis in the criminal division. Win win.
If you read the article below, you will see how far ranging fraudulent research within the medical profession is. This is precisely what the CJS relied upon to prosecute cases involving multiple child deaths, fraudulent research involving doctors who were out to carve a career and name for themselves. The CJS deferring to the ‘names’ without once checking the reliability of the evidence. Meadow and Southall went from paediatricians with limited expertise, to being the gurus of child abuse. When I scrutiny’s their backgrounds, I found little evidence to support their status as experts in child abuse. There were published theories, with other doctors saying, oh wow me too. Nothing of any scientific value. Just stories or manipulated fraudulent research. The more convictions or findings of fact attached to to their names, the more they were used to underpin cases against the parents or carers. Self perpetuating miscarriages of justice.
Rolf Harris appeal being an example. Witness claims to have seen active service in the Korean War. Witness was too young to have served, yet this was not noticed until after conviction. A simple self evident fact, yet the police and CPS overlooked it because it did not fit their theory. They only see what they want to see. Evidence in support of their case. Underpaid overworked lawyers are left to find this evidence, evidence that should have been checked by the police before it even got into a courtroom.
Fast forward to recent times. Stephen Port. A serial rapist and killer. A man who lured his victims using a gay dating app. No Roy Meadow here, in fact nobody gave a shit. Over a period of months 3 bodies were found in the same graveyard, propped up against the wall, another Port had placed outside of his flat all of whom had supposedly died from an overdose of a drug associated with the gay party scene, crucially called a ‘chem sex’ drug, which I and others believe was one of the reasons the deaths were ignored by the CJS, who clearly had a biased view about gay men and their lifestyles. ‘They took drugs, dangerous ones, they are bound to overdose at times’ and of course when they overdose, they will all do it in a graveyard …. the same graveyard … Crucially, none of these deaths made headlines at the time. Nobody said 1 is a tragedy 2 is … let alone a ‘guru’. It proves bias. Worryingly it would also suggest that some ‘victims’ are more important than others, or more likely to attract huge amounts of publicity and public interest for that force. Dead babies vs dead gay men …
One prosecutor of a very high profile case, who will remain nameless, did not realise we were right behind him when he said ‘Couldn’t believe my luck when this case landed on my clerk’s desk, this will be the making of me if I secure a conviction, first sexy case I have had” … Sexy .. a child death, a parent facing life imprisonment .. Our QC had to stop our barrister from punching his lights out, he had to be pulled off him. To be fair if the barrister had not gone for him it was likely I would have and been arrested for assault. Emblazoned on my memory, moments like that. So many of them, too many.
The CJS, the police, refused point blank to take on board anything that the family and friends of Port’s victims were telling them. Despite Port having been convicted for perverting the course of justice when dumping one of the bodies outside of his flat. So many opportunities missed. Staggeringly the police claimed at one point it would be ‘too expensive’ to investigate Port’s computers when the families and friends of his young victims begged them to do so.
Here we have two diametrically opposed cases. One involving the deaths of three infants over a period spanning ten years. No evidence to support the allegations that the mother had murdered them, no mental illness, no mark on the bodies, no motive to kill them. Yet she was arrested, charged, prosecuted and went to prison on the basis of a hypothesis and moral panic. The other involving one person being involved with four men over a period of months, whose bodies were found in very close proximity to where he lived.
Years after Cannings, Clark, Patel etc, three bodies are found in highly suspicious circumstances in a graveyard. There was evidence of foul play, this was outside of the fact that another body had been found outside Port’s flat with the same chemical in him as those in the graveyard, yet the CJS chose to ignore the evidence that would have led them to their killer before he killed again, a killer whom had already been in their custody. Yet they did not apply even a modicum of common sense. Instead confirmation bias came into play. Chem sex drugs will lead to deaths ergo no foul play. Paradoxically the murder weapon in their bodies, GHB, was the evidence upon which they based their view that it was not suspicious … You couldn’t make it up. Confirmation bias.
These two cases highlight the disparity there is within the CJS. An innocent mother was jumped upon, her life as she knew it, was annihilated without a shred of evidence to support it. The CJS spent over a million pounds going after her, (it costs so much more when you are trawling for evidence because you haven’t got any) two court cases running concurrently, criminal and family (for the surviving child). 1 2 3 and it’s murder, yet when the serial rapist killer is right under their noses, when members of the public are bringing the police evidence that something is untoward, when all these deaths had three common denominators, GHB (‘date rape drug‘) bodies found in the same graveyard and Stephen Port, they ignore it.
My point is this. There is no consistency in the CJS. It will pursue the innocent with vigour when it becomes a popular subject within main stream media, chucking huge amounts of resource at cases as evidenced in the latest moral panic driven fiasco relating to historical allegations of child sexual abuse. Yet when confronted with actual forensic evidence of a serial killer being on the loose, they become the three monkeys. It just does not make any sense, unless of course you take into account the reality, that being that these cases are driven by mass hysteria and a media feeding frenzy.
The Criminal Justice System, one that used to be admired around the world, as it stands today, is in tatters. It plays to its wider audience, it is not interested in the truth. It plays Russian roulette with people’s lives, with the legal profession defending those accused crossing their fingers hoping that when that barrel is spun and the gun is fired, that it isn’t their client who gets the bullet.
What is required now is a public inquiry as to how it is that yet again mass hysteria that started with Jimmy Savile has created yet another monster within our criminal courts, much of which has been based upon little or no evidence other than there being more than one complainant. Just as so many mothers were pursued on the basis of 1 is a tragedy etc. Allit – Savile there is no difference in how this has come about, fuelled by the media, moral panic. The CJS never learns from its mistakes.
The above is just my opinion based upon my significant involvement with both the criminal and family courts. It is an outsider’s view with an insider’s knowledge.