'Cot death' professor to face misconduct hearing

Professor Sir Roy Meadow, the doctor at the centre of a number of high profile cases against women accused of killing their children, is to face a professional conduct committee, it was announced today.

The General Medical Council said its preliminary proceedings committee considered allegations against Professor Meadow yesterday.

"The committee determined that the allegations, if proved, would raise a question of serious professional misconduct, which could affect his fitness to practise," a statement said.

The GMC said the allegations had been referred to a public hearing of the professional conduct committee, likely to be held in the second half of next year.

Professor Meadow was an expert witness in the trials of Sally Clark, Trupti Patel and Angela Cannings, who was last week freed from prison after being cleared of murdering her two baby sons.

In 1999 he gave evidence at the trial of solicitor Mrs Clark, who later won her appeal to overturn her conviction for murdering her two baby sons.

Prof Meadow told the jury that the chance of two children in such an affluent family dying of cot death was "one in 73 million".

This figure was later criticised by statisticians and the judge at Mrs Clark's appeal.

Prof Meadow appeared again at the trial of Mrs Patel, who was found not guilty in June of murdering her three babies.

And he came under renewed fire last week after Mrs Cannings was released by the Court of Appeal.

Solicitor John Batt, who worked as part of Mrs Clark's defence team for four years, said last week there was a question mark over similar cases involving Prof Meadow.

"He has given evidence, I understand, that is very similar to the evidence in these three cases which have been overturned now in the courts.

"This must raise a question mark about the other cases in which he claims to have identified mothers murdering their babies."

Prof Meadow has gained a reputation as a "hawkish" paediatrician when confronted with cases of multiple child deaths in one family.

He was already well-known for his 1977 academic paper on Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP), the syndrome where parents are said to fabricate their child's illness, resulting in unnecessary hospital admissions and even death.

His observation in a book that "one sudden infant death is a tragedy, two is suspicious and three is murder, unless proven otherwise" became known as "Meadow's Law".

Prof Meadow's supporters have said he is a man of skill and compassion and have pointed out that without his work people such as Beverly Allitt - the nurse suffering from MSBP who murdered four children and harmed nine others - might not be behind bars.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said the decision to quash Mrs Clark's murder convictions did not hinge on Prof Meadow's statistics - rather on non-disclosure of evidence by the pathologist Dr Alan Williams.

Last week a spokeswoman said Prof Meadow did not use statistics in the Patel and Cannings trials and had been one of a number of expert witnesses to be called by the prosecution.

Asked whether he would be called again as a witness, she said: "There is no professional body that has found against Professor Meadow that we are aware of.

"It would depend on the case and what the evidence was whichever expert was chosen."

Now aged 70, Prof Meadow was educated at a grammar school in Wigan and studied at Oxford University. He first became interested in child health working as a GP in Banbury.

He went to Leeds University as senior lecturer and took up a chair in paediatrics and child health in 1980 at St James's University Hospital, Leeds.

During his career he occupied a number of senior roles, including president of the British Paediatric Association and president of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

Suggested Topics
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
News
i100
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
ebookAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
News
news
News
Netherlands' goalkeeper Tim Krul fails to make a save from Costa Rica's midfielder Celso Borges during a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-final between Netherlands and Costa Rica during the 2014 FIFA World Cup
newsGoalkeepers suffer from 'gambler’s fallacy' during shoot-outs
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmReview: A week late, Secret Cinema arrives as interactive screening goes Back to the Future
Extras
indybest
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    (Senior) IT Support Engineer - 1st-3rd Line Support

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful IT service provider that has bee...

    Wind Farm Civil Design Engineer

    £55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Principal Marine Mechanical Engineer

    £60000 - £70000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Principle Geotechnical Engineer

    £55000 - £65000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...

    Day In a Page

    Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

    Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

    In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
    Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

    How has your club fared in summer sales?

    Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
    Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

    'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

    Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
    The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

    The best swim shorts for men

    Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

    Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup