Only three child death convictions found unsafe

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The Independent Online

Just three people convicted over "shaken baby syndrome" have had their cases recommended for appeal after a government review of the medical evidence.

Lawyers for two men and one woman have been contacted by Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney General, who has considered 88 cases in light of the findings of Court of Appeal last year.

In overturning two convictions and reducing one murder sentence to manslaughter, the judges said medical evidence of "shaken baby syndrome" may not be enough on its own.

Lord Goldsmith told the House of Lords yesterday that the three new cases raised concerns. He said: "Letters have been sent advising legal representatives in the three SBS cases that it might be appropriate for the safety of their client's conviction to be referred to the Court of Appeal or Criminal Cases Review Commission."

But even these three cases may not go back to court. One of the three firms of solicitors has acknowledged receipt of the correspondence and is seeking its client's instructions, one has advised its client against appeal but has forwarded the correspondence to him in case he has instructions and one has destroyed its file due to the length of time since the conviction.

Two of the convictions are for manslaughter and the defendants are no longer in jail. One is a man convicted in 2001 and sentenced to three years' imprisonment and the other is a woman convicted in 1994 and sentenced to seven years in jail. The third case is a man convicted of murder in 2001 and sentenced to life imprisonment, which he is still serving.