MPs criticise prosecution's £8,000 payment for Meadow's evidence

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Professor Sir Roy Meadow, the paediatrician whose evidence led to the wrongful jailing of Angela Cannings, was paid more than £8,000 of taxpayers' money to testify.

Professor Sir Roy Meadow, the paediatrician whose evidence led to the wrongful jailing of Angela Cannings, was paid more than £8,000 of taxpayers' money to testify.

MPs queried why Sir Roy had been paid the money while Mrs Cannings had received no compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned for 18 months for the deaths of her two sons.

In response to a question in the Commons from William Cash, Conservative MP for Stone, Harriet Harman, the Solicitor General, said the Crown Prosecution Service had paid Sir Roy £3,462for "attendance at court and attendance at conferences", while Wiltshire Constabulary had paid him £4,730 for "preparation work".

Mrs Cannings, whose conviction was quashed in December 2003, was jailed for life after being convicted of murdering Jason, who was seven weeks old, in 1991 and Matthew, 18 weeks old, in 1999, partly on the evidence of the paediatrician.

The Home Office has refused her compensation on the grounds that she was convicted on evidence from independent experts, not a police officer or other state employee.

Sir Roy also gave evidence at the trials of Trupti Patel and Sally Clark, who were also subsequently cleared of killing their children.

Yesterday, Sandra Gidley, Liberal Democrat spokesman on children, said: "£8,000 is an awful lot. Angela Cannings received no compensation. The balance does not seem fair."

Mrs Cannings has called for a public inquiry into the use of expert witnesses.

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