Only three shaken babies cases give cause for concern

Only three convictions over child deaths involving shaken baby syndrome may give cause for concern, the attorney general Lord Goldsmith said yesterday.

His decision follows a review of 88 shaken baby cases which was part of a wider examination of 297 child deaths over the past 10 years, following the quashing of murder convictions against Sally Clark and Angela Cannings.

The shaken baby review took into account a Court of Appeal judgement last summer on four test cases, which clarified the law.

The government also published new guidance for expert witnesses yesterday.

It sets out tougher requirements on disclosure of material; credibility and competence; and limiting opinion to their own specific area of expertise.

“I believe these clear and thorough guidelines will assist in bringing about greater confidence in the criminal justice system in handling such difficult cases where expert witnesses are called on,” said the attorney general.

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