With the arguments against shaken baby syndrome gathering force, the rebellious scientists found themselves increasingly in-demand as expert witnesses. As they strode through courtrooms casting doubt on the science, prosecutions failed and convicted parents were released on appeal. The prosecutorial forces launched a counter-attack. Their first victory came in , during an appeal hearing against three shaken-baby convictions, including that of Lorraine Harris.
But it was too late. The Crown Prosecution Service issued a celebratory press release. Geddes saw the hearing as a calculated attack on her integrity. It was an attempt to shut my theory down, to prove my research was rubbish and that I was dishonest. In September , a plan to deal with them was spelled out by a Met Police officer in a Powerpoint presentation. That year, fully half a decade after it happened, attendees were still celebrating the humiliation of Geddes.
The plan was to go after them. Previous court testimony would be combed for potential problems.
Conviction by Corinne Michaels
If problems were discovered, formal complaints would be made. Back in the UK, Squier had already been targeted. It was from a barrister with whom she had been working on a case.
He was calling from court. Squier was baffled. An investigation by the General Medical Council could hardly be more serious. Soon, Scheimberg and Cohen would learn of actions against them. A body called the National Policing Improvement Agency had formally complained that Squier had dishonestly misrepresented the science of shaken baby syndrome in trials involving six infants between and Most of the allegations involved the cherry-picking of evidence, straying into areas outside her expertise and knowingly making statements that were unsupported by the science.
The bulk of the GMC hearings took place over six months from October Thrash, thrash, thrash. She was struck off. Squier appealed against the ruling of the tribunal.
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Her removal from the medical register was reversed. She was, however, forbidden from working as an expert witness for three years, by which time she would be at retirement age. As for the other two experts, Scheimberg was cleared after an investigation by the Human Tissue Authority.
Ultimately, the plan was a spectacular success. It has been extremely effective in silencing the sceptics and preventing them assisting the defence. So straightforward, in fact, that he doubts the motives of the sceptics.
And yet the latest scientific evidence seems to support the sceptics. In , Swedish academics published the most in-depth review of the literature on the triad yet, assessing 1, papers. This, he argues, is why you must also look at the evidence from clinical practice.
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When there are witnesses to a fall, you typically find a very different pattern of bleeding as well as fractures. The same goes for sepsis, heart complaints and the theory that oxygen starvation caused by choking can lead to the triad. Smith used research by Geddes to explain one idea of how shaking did lead to the triad.
The conventional view used to be that it caused widespread damage to the axons in the brain. Geddes revealed this widespread damage was absent. But she did find that shaking could cause highly localised axonal damage. This is where the centres that control heart function and respiration are. I arranged to meet him in a cafe opposite St Pancras station in London. He had arrived from giving evidence at a shaking trial in Essex. What this implies is that the majority of such cases involve no other injuries.
No bruising, no neck injuries, no fractures or breaks. How can he be sure they have been shaken? Most diseases tend to occur at different times of day. Stoodley has another powerful argument. But what about the earlier Geddes work that implies even light shaking could cause it? But babies bruise easily. T he triad believers argue that defence lawyers have been cynically seeking new and alternative causes of the three tell-tale injuries. But Smith is dismissive of it being a cause of the triad.
She saw repeated references to EDS. It made sense to Carla. Carla bruises easily and spectacularly. Almost her entire forearm was brown and blue. When Carla phoned her own solicitor to tell him about the genetic test, he was delighted.
Did Darlie Routier kill her kids? Doubts remain two decades later
It was the first encouraging news they had had in a long time. Effie is now back with her parents and thriving. Today, 16 years after Geddes published the paper that convinced Waney Squier she was wrong, and two decades after the awful drama of the Louise Woodward trial, the war continues. Prosecutors have silenced their most powerful courtroom enemies, and influential scientists continue to cast doubt on the science of the triad, while experts such as Colin Smith use compelling clinical evidence to convince judges and juries that the triad is, indeed, strong evidence of abuse.
And for Stoodley, too, the facts are as certain as they have ever been. But, surprisingly for a man who has testified against hundreds of parents, he confesses to profound doubts about the justice of putting them in prison. I think the worst sentence society could impose on a parent who had just lost it for a moment is watching your child grow up handicapped because of something you knew you had done.
The long read. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Topics The long read. Reuse this content. Prosecutors described Routier as materialistic and self-absorbed. They used her bleached hair and breast implants as examples of that. Kee regularly visits her daughter at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville. She won't be allowed to hug or touch her daughter.
They'll sit separated by a pane of glass. How could Routier, a purported light sleeper, not wake up while her sons were brutally attacked and her own throat was slashed? How was she able to fight off an attacker but not notice her children were bloody on the floor? And why would an innocent woman mention to a operator that she touched the butcher knife and hoped police could still pull fingerprints of the assailant?
She talked to nurses in the hospital. She talked to police. Each time, her story was a little different, said attorney Toby Shook, who served as a prosecutor on the case. Shook is now a Dallas criminal defense attorney. Routier and Rowlett are still linked. News crews and people with cameras still visit the two-story red brick house on Eagle Drive, which looks mostly the same as it did that night. The sock had blood droplets from both Damon and Devon. Her supporters believe the sock proves that there was no way Routier killed her sons, stabbed herself, cut the window and had time to run barefoot down the alley all while leaving no blood trail of her own.
The medical examiner testified Damon could have survived about eight minutes with his wounds. The State Court of Criminal Appeals upheld her conviction in He said most of his cases have been resolved after 10 years. Staff writers Jennifer Emily and Austin Huguelet contributed to this report.