Sally Clark

Sally Clark 1964-2007

Sally Clark

Case history written in January 2000 by Sally's father, Frank Lockyer

Cot deaths - murders?

Statistics vary according to source but the loss of two babies is more common than supposed - even two cot deaths. Cot deaths are those with no obvious cause and no unusual features but contrary to reports Sally and Steve have never claimed two cot deaths - indeed Christopher was certified as "respiratory infection". The figures from the Care of Next Infant charity (CONI) are one cot death in every 8,500, but after one cot death the risk of a second actually increases to one in 200. The formula 1:73 million (five times smaller than the chance of winning the lottery) is dangerous nonsense. At least, it was dangerous to Sally and will be for every grieving mother hereafter when, folllowing a double death, it is transposed as the chance of a mother telling the truth being 1:73 million.

Professors Green and Meadow are men with a mission who advance their isolated theory that up to 40% of cot deaths are murders. "Think dirty," advised Green in a recent "Daily Express" feature, which so upset the CONI organisation.

The report of the confidential enquiry into stillbirths and deaths in infancy (CESDI) published on February 1, 2000, after a thorough examination over three years, assessed maltreatment, including deliberate harm, as well as neglect or extremely poor care, as probably in the region of 6%, which confirms the "up to 40%" claim as dirty thinking indeed.

So what have we here? Sally convicted of murder on the evidence of pathologist Williams who, in the case of Christopher, had some 14 months earlier ignored the evidence he now cites as murder; then in the case of Harry, stands alone that he was shaken, which is not even supported by the other Prosecution medical witnesses and certainly refuted by the Defence. Next, in the case of Harry, we have Green who for 20 months persisted that he had been shaken but who, 72 hours before the trial, admitted that he was wrong and substituted smothering - and was then contradicted by Williams! A conundrum perpetuated by Drs Keeling and Smith, the other two members of the Prosecution team, who could not be certain whether death was natural or unnatural and thought it should be "unascertained." Meanwhile, the hypoxia on which the smothering theory is based was dismissed by the Defence team as present in all cot deaths as part of the dying process. The Prosecution's medical evidence changed completely between committal and trial, prompting one paediatrician to say in court that he had never previously been involved in a case where so many of the Prosecution's medical findings crumbled to dust!

Site last modified Wed Oct 12 09:58:06 BST 2011