|TODAY'S HERO, TOMORROWS VILLAIN?|
In 2004 a 2 year old boy, Kyle Fisher, tragically died in Hartlepoole 2 days after being taken to hospital from the care of a babysitter, Suzanne Holdsworth. Kyle's short life was not the happiest one. Neighbours stated that his mother was a regular drinker and sometimes left Kyle alone at their home which was in a filthy state. He had an injury to his eye socket, allegedly caused when he fell out of his buggy, while in his mothers care months before. He was due to have an operation to rectify this.
An autopsy report stated that Kyle had fresh bruising to his head and that he had died of a bleed on the brain caused by a significant trauma or blows to the head. Holdsworth was arrested and lied in interview. There was evidence, for example, to show that she had gone shopping while babysitting but she had denied this.
On the basis of the medical evidence that Kyle had died of blows to the head while in Holdsworth's care and that Holdsworth was a liar, the Crown Prosecution Service decided that there was sufficient evidence to charge her and she went to trial and was convicted by a jury.
Holdsworth spent 3 years in custody before being granted a re-trial. This was granted on the basis that there was further expert medical evidence to show that Kyles death could have been brought about by a seizure following a blow to the head earlier, probably within the last 24 hours. Holdsworth claimed that Kyle already had bruising to the head when she went to look after him that night. At the re-trial in 2008, the jury were basically told that either Kyles mother or the babysitter caused the blow that brought on the seizure and Holdsworth claimed it wasn't her. The jury acquitted her, although this hardly confirms her innocence.
Following her acquittal, Holdsworth's partner made 27 complaints against the police. After all, if his girlfriend was 'innocent' it must be the fault of the police that she was tried and convicted. The IPCC carried out the investigation and have dismissed all the complaints but recommended that the police apologise to Holdsworth. No significant faults were found in the investigation that resulted in Holdsworth's conviction. The medical evidence, her lies and those of other witnesses were the main contributors. Chief Constable Sean Price has basically told the IPCC to get stuffed. There will be no apology. Quite right too. You can read his far more eloquent comment on the case here. Hats off to Sean Price!
Yes, this is the same Sean Price who is under investigation for using undue influence in appointing a member of staff. Hence the caption! But lets give credit where it is due.