Archive for December, 2008

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From the moment she was convicted of child murder babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth was mentally abused and taunted in jail. But the 38-year-old does not blame her fellow inmates for their treatment of her during the three years she was locked up for the killing of two-year-old Kyle Fisher. Speaking to the BBC by telephone from prison, she said: “When I went in I was abused and called a ‘nonce’. “I would go back to my cell and cry and cry and cry. “But I can’t fault people, I would have been exactly the same. They thought I was a murderer. “But I was innocent and had done nothing wrong.” Ms Holdsworth’s nightmare began in 2004 when she was looking after Kyle, the son of her teenage neighbour Clare Fisher. Ms Holdsworth was caring for him at her home in Hartlepool when he suffered a fit.During her 999 call she said the youngster’s eyes were rolling and he had gone floppy. But the police insisted the former supermarket worker had battered Kyle’s head against the banister in her home in Millpool Close in a bout of rage. In March 2005, a jury agreed with the prosecution case and Ms Holdsworth was given a life sentence and told she would spend at least 10 years behind bars.
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http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/news/archive/2008/december/19/03.htm

Look at Kyle Fisher’s right eye. Behind his drooping eye was a damaged brain. Look at his head. It was abnormally big. Babysitter Suzanne Holdsworth – free today after a retrial – spent three years in prison after she was convicted in 2005 of murdering Kyle because of this simple logic: Kyle was essentially healthy, then he was killed. The simple logic was wrong – Kyle’s brain had five separate disorders – and that mistake led to a terrible miscarriage of justice. That miscarriage only became clear when Newsnight reported on it a year ago when Ms Holdsworth was still in prison, and was only righted when a jury at Teesside Crown Court found her not guilty. After Ms Holdsworth, 38, was convicted in 2005, Cleveland Police boasted of “a relentless investigation” led by Det Supt Tony Hutchinson, the now retired “super cop” who nailed “canoe man” John Darwin. Far from being relentless, too many things that should have been investigated properly were not investigated. Ms Holdsworth was alleged to have smashed Kyle’s head against the banister at her home. But there was no visible blood, no hair, no skin on the banister, and no DNA test was carried out. The accused’s partner, Lee Spencer, who has stuck by her throughout, told me: “They didn’t do a DNA test on the alleged murder weapon. “I’m no Sherlock Holmes, I drive a cement mixer, but what kind of investigation was that?” Earlier injury The babysitter said in her frantic 999 call that Kyle was suffering from a fit – and never changed her story. Home Office pathologist James Sunter, now dead, reported after the toddler’s death in July 2004 that Kyle’s brain was essentially normal – one of eight findings he got wrong.
Full Artice:
http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/news/archive/2008/december/19/02.htm

Babysitter not guilty of murder (BBC News)

Posted: December 20, 2008 in News

A babysitter who spent three years in prison for the murder of a neighbour’s two-year-old son has been found not guilty at a retrial. Suzanne Holdsworth had been accused of banging Kyle Fisher’s head against a banister in Hartlepool in July 2004. Ms Holdsworth, 38, now of Boggart Hill Drive, Leeds, was convicted in 2005. However, doubts were raised about her conviction by journalist John Sweeney in a report for BBC Newsnight and the conviction was quashed in May. The jury at the retrial at Teesside Crown Court deliberated for two days before returning the not guilty verdict. The mother-of-two was originally convicted of the murder in March 2005 and jailed for life.She was released from prison earlier this year after serving three years. During Ms Holdsworth’s original trial she was accused of repeatedly banging Kyle’s head against a wooden banister with as much force as a 60mph crash after losing her temper.
Full Article:
http://www.stopinjusticenow.com/news/archive/2008/december/19/01.htm

Babysitter not guilty of murder (BBC News)

Posted: December 18, 2008 in News

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A babysitter who spent three years in prison for the murder of a neighbour’s two-year-old son has been found not guilty at a retrial.
Suzanne Holdsworth had been accused of banging Kyle Fisher’s head against a banister in Hartlepool in July 2004.
Ms Holdsworth, 38, now of Boggart Hill Drive, Leeds, was convicted in 2005.
However, doubts were raised about her conviction by journalist John Sweeney in a report for BBC Newsnight and the conviction was quashed in May.
The jury at the retrial at Teesside Crown Court deliberated for two days before returning the not guilty verdict.
The mother-of-two was originally convicted of the murder in March 2005 and jailed for life.
She was released from prison earlier this year after serving three years.
During Ms Holdsworth’s original trial she was accused of repeatedly banging Kyle’s head against a wooden banister with as much force as a 60mph crash after losing her temper.
The Newsnight programme interviewed leading neuro-pathologist Dr Wainey Squier who later gave evidence for the defence in the retrial.
She said it was “unlikely” Kyle had suffered a massive blow to the head.
‘Terrible experience’
Standing next to Ms Holdsworth outside the court on Thursday, her partner Lee Spencer said: “This case has always been about Kyle, who was a loving child, a little boy, who Suzanne’s always loved and helped look after.
“We know his family deeply loved him and miss him.
“Sadly we now know that he had some bad medical features that led to his sudden collapse and death.
“We hope that this knowledge will help his family come to terms with his death. “This has been a terrible experience for Suzanne and our family and we now just want to try and pick up the pieces of our lives together.”
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Social services are set to be shaken up in the wake of the Baby P and Shannon Matthews cases.
Schools Secretary Ed Balls said £200 million is being pumped into a new fund to bring education, health and children’s services under one roof.
The fund will allow children and families to access the services they need simply, and encourage agencies to work closer together.
Mr Balls and Health Secretary Alan Johnson will also formally announce the creation of a new task force to look at every aspect of social work, including leadership.
Ministers want to see future chiefs of local authority children’s services gain experience in both schools and social work before they are appointed.
Training schemes will be changed, with more emphasis on “on-the-job” learning and the introduction of a new “qualifying year” in which new staff will get hands-on experience before they qualify fully.
The proposals come after Haringey social services in north London was severely criticised in a damning report into the death of 17-month-old Baby P, who suffered appalling abuse at the hands of his mother, her boyfriend and their lodger.
The council’s leader and cabinet member for children resigned while the director of children’s services, Sharon Shoesmith, was sacked on Monday.
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“Devastating findings”, “a failure to talk directly to children at risk” and “Deep-rooted and fundamental failures.”These are just some of the comments made by the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls over the damning independent report on the handling of the case of Baby P.In its wake, Haringey’s Social Services Chief Sharon Shoesmith was removed from her post, whilst Haringey Council leader George Meehan and Cabinet Member for children and young people Liz Santry resigned.Key failingsThe key failings highlighted in the report include:- Failure to identify children at immediate risk of harm and to act on evidence. This included a failure to talk to children believed to be at risk.- Agencies acting in isolation from one another without effective co-ordination.-Poor gathering, recording and sharing of information.- Insufficient supervision by senior management.ActionAction to be taken includes:- A new serious case review to be undertaken into the death of Baby P, with an executive summary to be published by the end of March.- Education watchdog Ofsted to carry out unannounced annual inspections of children’s services across the country.- More action to be taken at those authorities in England which have had inadequate serious case reviews, to see if they have made improvements.
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