“Serious disagreement between reputable experts” over
the theory of Shaken Baby Syndrome means the convictions of four
people for killing or harming their babies are unsafe and should be
overturned, the Court of Appeal heard today, writes Amy
Michael Mansfield QC said that there were no witnesses to any of
the incidents, there was no past “pattern of abuse” and
the prosecution cases against all four people stood or fell on
expert evidence which had now been called into question.
The four are attempting to get the verdicts overturned through
claiming the internal head injuries can be caused by a sharp
movement to the head with no shaking.
The established theory of “shaken baby syndrome” is
that these injuries can only be caused by shaking with sufficient
Mansfield concluded: “There is now serious disagreement
between reputable experts as to the mechanism of death and the
level of force needed to cause it. Natural causes cannot be
excluded as a reasonable and not a fanciful conclusion.”
The cases could open the gates to a number of appeals.