Lawyer Freed On
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
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
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
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.
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."
Mothers Against MSBP Allegations