We represented the mother of Effie Stillwell, through our colleague, William Bache.
Her case illustrates a dire state of affairs in our courts.
The causes of serious injury or sudden death in very young babies remain insufficiently understood. Yet outdated and ill researched mainstream medical opinion too readily concludes they arise from abuse.
Ultimately clear evidence was found that Effie was suffering from a type of a poorly understood condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome pointing to natural causes. The scientific picture is often more obscure.
Wherever science is developing, valid but opposing opinions inevitably arise. Fairness requires considering such competing views. It is impossible otherwise to hear both sides of the case.
In the current climate , the number of experts of high calibre willing to give evidence which challenges conventional mainstream opinion is diminishing. Moreover financial constraints encourage some courts to insist on one expert per discipline only. Consequently competing opinions are insufficiently represented.
The result can be that happy families are needlessly destroyed and innocent parents serve long prison sentences.
Where dark corners remain in medical understanding should not the system encourage a range of expert opinion?