Monday, 21 June 2010
Shaken Baby Syndrome
The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) has given judgment in three appeals involving the death of a baby - see Henderson, Butler, Oyediran v R  EWCA Crim 1269. These are very difficult and emotional cases in which a jury often has to weigh conflicting expert medical evidence. Whilst the jury remains the fact-finding body, the jurors will receive direction from the judge. According to the court, there are two necessary elements in the jury direction:  not to overlook a realistic possibility of there being an unknown cause and  how to handle conflicting medical evidence. See paragraphs 217 and 218 of the judgment.