Letter: Louise Woodward

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The Independent Online
Sir: I am as stunned as many others at the conviction of Louise Woodward for second degree murder for killing baby Matthew Eappen.

Many years ago I was a juror on a Crown Court case, and was appointed jury foreman. During our deliberations, I advised my fellow jurors that if there was any doubt we could only justly and equitably return a verdict of not guilty. A not guilty verdict was given.

Sunil and Debbie Eappen were very naive young professionals who expected higher standards from the au pair than they themselves were able or willing to provide.

Louise Woodward was young and inexperienced, being paid a paltry sum of money by a couple who could surely have paid much more, and yet she was expected to show the maturity and temperament of a Mary Poppins.

As a juror, I would have needed to be convinced beyond all shadow of doubt that the Eappens were no way responsible if only in a contributory way for the death of their child.

I shall pray and hope that true American justice will prevail and that this unfortunate verdict can be overturned or at the very least be reduced to a verdict which is humane and equitable.


Coulsdon, Surrey.