Tag Archives: Child Abuse

Silence in Court: British defendants in shaken baby cases look to US for help

This piece was originally published with The Justice Gap.   ‘I’ve been contacted by three or four families in the last three or four months, desperately looking for help,’ says Dr John Plunkett. From his farm deep in the Minnesota countryside, high-speed Internet can’t always be relied upon. But Dr Plunkett, a retired forensic pathologist who has been instrumental in challenging the science behind so-called Shaken Baby Syndrome, is receiving messages from British families struggling to find experts prepared to give evidence on their behalf in court. ‘There’s nobody that’s willing to testify,’ he claims. Back in March last year, Dr Waney Squier was banned from practising in the UK when the General Medical Council (GMC) ruled that she had given irresponsible and misleading evidence in court. As reported on the Justice Gap, Michael Birnbaum QC criticised the ruling as a ‘bizarre combination of the apparently one-sided and the obviously inept’ …

The Inmate of Rome

“But what are kings, when regiment is gone, But perfect shadows in a sunshine day?” — Edward II (Christopher Marlowe)   It’s a relief to be able to call him Joseph.  And it will be a relief once he’s treated just like any other Joseph.  It’s been said before and it will be said again: there’s a Ratzinger-sized space in Rome’s nearest prison cell just waiting to be filled.  The former Bishop of Rome should soon become the Inmate of Rome. It shouldn’t have taken me by surprise when I discovered recently that the Vatican doesn’t actually have a prison system.  Earthly justice doesn’t seem to apply to the elect, after all.  Not to a man who personally granted the abuser of 200 deaf and dumb children in a Wisconsin school his wish to die without the oh-so-unconscionable spectre of a canonical trial hanging over him.  Not to a man …