Babysitter wins retrial for 'unsafe' murder conviction

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The Independent Online

Suzanne Holdsworth was released from prison last night after the Court of Appeal declared that the babysitter's conviction for the murder of a toddler was "unsafe", ordering a retrial.

Holdsworth, 37, a mother of two children who has spent three years in jail, was driven away from Low Newton prison in County Durham with a blanket over her head. The court granted her conditional bail after ordering a new trial over the death of her neighbour's two-year-old son, Kyle Fisher.

She had been convicted of killing the boy, who suffered a fatal brain swelling, or oedema, with a blow or blows of significant force while minding Kyle at her home in Hartlepool as the child's 19-year-old mother went for a night out.

Kyle was rushed to hospital after the injury in August 2004 but died two days later. Holdsworth denies injuring the child and claimed he had suffered a fit as they watched television.

Holdsworth's QC, Henry Blaxland, told the appeal that doctors at the trial "failed to diagnose" an abnormality that predisposed Kyle to epilepsy. He said new evidence suggested the child may have suffered an epileptic seizure.

The judges said the new evidence, if available at the original trial, may have led to a different outcome.