'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
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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

    Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas