John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Friday, October 27, 2006
  Marianne Williams Cleared
The second of the results as part of the 5 key cases mentioned below where the results on four are due either yesterday, today or on Monday cleared Marianne Williams of poisoning her son with salt.

There is a really big problem that lies in the use of expert witness evidence to convict people where the expert witnesses have a conflict of interest. In the case of Roy Meadow it was merely that his evidence was "professional misconduct". In other situations you have people who would otherwise potentially be interviewed about the death by the police giving evidence to say "it was the mother".

The Newport Case where children were taken off their parents was a catalogue of errors. In this case I believe relatively well meaning professionals who were wrong and arrogant, but did not initially have a conflict of interest made a catalogue of errors which split a family apart for two years.

There is a lot more to come. There are also still miscarriages of justice that need rectifying. Part of this lies in the secrecy of the family courts. There was an attempt by the conference on Monday to prevent family advocates from attending. However, my understanding is that they are now being permitted to attend.

We do face serious situations where children need to be protected. I spoke this morning at the Internet Watch Foundation that do some excellent work in getting rid of images of abused children. However, there are far too many false positives driven through the system by people who believe that families don't matter. (After all if they believed that families matter why would they frequently ignore the parents.)
 
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