Report ‘overplayed’ killer’s brain injury

The brain injury suffered by Alexander Ness, convicted last year of
killing his infant son Caleb in 2000, was “overstressed” in the
O’Brien inquiry report into the child’s death, according to top

Dr Alan Carson told a conference last week that pre-existing
criminal and cultural factors should play a greater part in
assessing risk to children than a brain injury itself. He added
that Ness’s brain injury was probably a “relatively minor factor”
in the death of his son.

But report author Susan O’Brien QC told the conference that Ness’s
criminal history before his brain injury indicated that he had a
history of violence towards adults only.

“The police were quite clear that there was no evidence that Ness
had ever behaved badly towards children in the past,” she said.

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