Lawyer Freed On Appeal 



Jailed solicitor Sally Clark has been freed after winning an appeal against her conviction for murdering her two baby sons. Three judges at the Court of Appeal ruled she did not have a fair trial and the conviction was unsafe.

Clark, 38, was found guilty of smothering her 11-week-old son Christopher in 1996 and shaking eight-week-old Harry to death in January 1998 at Chester Crown Court in 1999.

The former Cheshire solicitor had always protested her innocence, claiming the boys died naturally. She is now likely to receive a massive compensation payout.

Bacterial reaction

During the appeal hearing, Clark's lawayers said medical evidence which could have cleared her had been kept from her defence team at the trial.

Clare Montgomery QC said there was evidence Harry had suffered an infection that had spread to his cerebral spinal fluid. She said Harry probably died from a bacterial reaction.

Ms Montgomery claimed that the prosecution pathologist Dr Alan Williams, who conducted post-mortems on both children, knew of the infection in February 1998.


But she said the evidence was kept secret and only emerged three years later. Ms Montgomery said if the hidden evidence had emerged at the trial, Clark would not have been found guilty.

Lord Justice Kay said: "We are satisfied that the trial of this appellant was not a fair trial in that the jury were deprived of the opportunity of hearing and considering medical evidence that may have influenced their decision."

The prosecution indicated during the appeal hearing that if Mrs Clark's conviction was overturned they would not seek a retrial.

"Total admiration"

On hearing the decision, Clark's father Frank Lockyer, said that his feeling was one of "total admiration" for his daughter and son-in-law and for the way they had coped over the last five years.

"It's very easy to be proud of one's daughter when they are taking A-levels and university degrees. But the real time to be proud is how they react when the chips are down."

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