Following a 5 week trial at the Old Bailey before the Common Serjeant, acquittals were secured on both murder and manslaughter charges for a father accused of killing his 8 week old baby.
The Crown alleged that in a fit of rage the defendant had violently shaken his baby son because of the pressures he was under in living a 'double life' between 2 women.
Neena was selected by leading counsel Michael Magarian QC of Drystone Chambers and Harriet Benson of Henscott Solicitors, because of her medical background and expertise in dealing with complex forensic medical evidence.
At trial Neena cross examined 10 of the doctors and expert witnesses including the Crown's eminent professors in neuropathology and histopathology and paediatric emergency specialists and anesthetists.
Through meticulous preparation and expert questioning of these and other witnesses the Crowns case was unpicked and the theory of shaken baby syndrome scrutinised and challenged.
As a result of her knowledge of medical terminology, Neena uncovered a 'smoking gun' in the papers which demonstrated that contrary to the witness statement of the first paramedic who had described the baby being grey and lifeless on arrival, in fact the baby's heart was functioning normally. This fact was something that all the Crown's experts had overlooked but was of critical importance in securing the acquittal.
The case highlighted from a defence perspective how difficult it is to find really thorough expert witnesses who are prepared, in the current climate, to give evidence for the defence but also be prepared to question the whole science of so-called shaken baby. In this case only one of the defence experts instructed, Professor Luthert, was called.
Neena was instructed by Henscott Solicitors
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