One of Scotland’s leading child abuse experts is to have his
diagnosis of Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy challenged in court in
what is seen as the Scottish equivalent of the Sir Roy Meadow
The case involves Glasgow paediatrician Professor John Stephenson
who gave evidence in care proceedings in 1994 against a woman
accused of harming her child. The child was taken into care only
briefly, but her solicitor believes new evidence will exonerate
If successful, it could lead to the re-opening of dozens of cases
where Stephenson’s evidence was a factor in decisions to take
children into care.
Judges decided last week there were grounds for the 1994 case to be
looked at again. The hearing is due to start in April.
Last year in England there was a review of cases in which medical
experts strongly disagreed about the harm done by parents of
children taken into care. It followed the December 2003 acquittal
of Angela Cannings after Meadow’s evidence, which led to her
conviction for killing her babies, was discredited.