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angela cannings - denied compensation

(50 Posts)
nasa Tue 11-Jan-05 09:18:51

a disgrace


weightwatchingwaterwitch Tue 11-Jan-05 09:22:43

Terrible. This government seems to think it can do what it likes doesn't it?

Piffle Tue 11-Jan-05 09:23:00

I know!!!! Shokcing!!! Could she not sue Roy Meadows then, if the govt are not liable for "expert" prosecution witnesses errors of expertise, then surely she has a civil case right to sue?
Go get him...

PuffTheMagicDragon Tue 11-Jan-05 09:44:42

That's very bad indeed.

nasa Tue 11-Jan-05 09:44:42

she was saying on the radio this morning that her solicitors were going to look into the other possiblities. I just don't understand it - it's so wrong, the poor woman has had her life destroyied.

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 11:14:08

I seriously think officialdom – the political legal, medical and social care institutions – has got it in for these women. It's a really vindictive attitude that permeates official reaction to being caught out – blame the victim. Those in power have been so carried away demonising mothers they can't bear to be shown up for what they are.

There's a lot of (justified) debate about institutional racism but everyone seems to believe that sexism has gone away. Yet I really do think insitutional sexism is an issue – look at the experience of women working in the City, for instance. And you can't get more sexist than launching an attack on motherhood - which is what their claims about MSBP were.

From a historical perspective, those in power have always tried to undermine any power women have and motherhood is key to that - that's why religions and legal system have been so obsessed with controlling female sexuality. All very depressing.

KristinaM Tue 11-Jan-05 11:14:57

Well put Edam

PlainFlum Tue 11-Jan-05 11:21:29

Jeezus, yet they give it to Pikies who trip over a paving stone on purpose on their way to the Footlocker.

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 11:23:30

why, thank you Kristina
everything I read about MSbP just makes me a. angry and b. think there but for the grace of God goes any one of us...

Marina Tue 11-Jan-05 11:23:42

Oh that is truly disgusting.
Where is justice for this poor woman and what is left of her family? Oh I am angry to hear this.

weightwatchingwaterwitch Tue 11-Jan-05 11:25:33

Good post Edam.

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 11:28:46


winnie Tue 11-Jan-05 11:59:27

Listening to this on the radio this morning made me so angry. There is no justice. As if this poor woman and her family haven't been treated badly enough

bluesky Tue 11-Jan-05 12:47:30

Anything I have heard on radio/tv reporting this this morning, never actually said why, how are justifying this?

BigGayDad Tue 11-Jan-05 12:56:22

I spoke to a consultant in Child Health just after the verdict. She was very concerned that the backlash against Meadows would result in a lack of expert witnesses. She thought this could result in child abuse cases being missed.

Didn't agree with her, but it shows how things are looked at from a different perspective by different people. It also explains why strange decisions are made in bureaucracies occassionally

Bunglie Tue 11-Jan-05 13:35:14

I have not yet read what has been posted here, so apologise if I have duplicated it. However I have just posted the following on the MSbP4 thread and directed here by Janh......

I feel quite sad this morning and wondered if anyone can confirm what I have just been told.

It appears that Angela Cannings who was wrongly imprisoned for the murder of her baby, and later her husband Steve was accused by the same 'expert' witness after he watched a TV documentary on the case, but this 'expert' never even spoke to hin but made this judgment from watching a TV programme. Quite rightly a complaint was made to the GMC and as we all know the outcome of that, as the expert was Dr Southall.
What has upset me is that it is not cheap to take legal action and the Cannings lost everything, their house the lot, due to legal fees and today it was announced that she will get no compensation for the years she spent falsely imprisoned and seperated from her surviving son and family.
Can it be right that they loose their home and it has cost them money to to right a wrong, that should never have happened? The doctor concerned will have had professional insurance, so he will not be out of pocket, I really do think that she should be compensated as other falsely accused prisoners who are later released are. I think it was the 'Birmingham 4' who got over a million!
She was critisized for selling her story, to be made into a film. Not only do I think that this was very couragous of them as I would have wanted to 'slink off into obscurity', but the money she has been offered for this is only going to be enough for a down payment on a house.
We have a lot to grateful to both Steve and Angela Cannings for, and I feel that they have been through enough. Surely if she was wrongly lockled up and had her family seperated etc. Why should it cost them anything to right a wrong that should never have happened?

Does anyone know any reason why she was denied compensation or seen a story about this and can do a link?

I do apologise to you all, but I am cross, because it should not cost money to right a wrong that should never have happened.

Marina Tue 11-Jan-05 13:37:08

That's an intriguing perspective BigGayDad. Surely she can spot the difference between the conscientious, scrupulous would-be expert witnesses, though, and an IDIOT like Meadow? If not at the time, then with hindsight?

nasa Tue 11-Jan-05 13:39:26

not seen any justification yet. On five live this morning angela said she'd not yet received the letter giving an detailed explanation for why she was refused. On BBC news the home office 'spokeswoman' makes this comment:

She stated: "Although we can't discuss particular cases, individuals whose conviction has been quashed on appeal are legally eligible for compensation only if the appeal hearing has resulted from a Criminal Cases Review Commission referral or otherwise occurs outside the normal appeal process and is successful because new facts have come to light.

"There is also a discretionary scheme for use in exceptional circumstances for people who do not legally qualify for compensation for example where a member of a police force or of some other public authority is manifestly deficient, or where facts emerge that completely exonerate the accused.
The decision to refuse an application for compensation is not intended to detract in any way from the applicant's acquittal."

IT's such crap, if anyone deserves compensation she does.

pinkmama Tue 11-Jan-05 13:39:39

Apparently, listening to lunchtime news, and forgive me if I get this a bit wrong, but really angry about it, she cannot claim compensation because under the criminal justice act you can only claim compensation once you have been through every route to prove your innocence. There fore as she won on first appeal, she is not eligible. SO, essentially, because she had an overwhelming case to prove her innocence she has no come back. If she had had a flakier, less substantial case, and had had to spend vast more years in prison, she could have gone for compensation.

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 13:41:42

BGD, I'm sure this doesn't apply to the consultant you spoke to, but the reaction of some paediatricians was 'no-one can criticise us or we'll threaten to abandon children in need of protection'. Originally the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health started scaremongering about the Clarke/Patel/Cannings cases leading to a shortage of doctors taking on this work (although they have now made a more measured statement following an inquiry by Helena Kennedy, I think?).
Frankly I thought it was a shameful reaction. Instead of accepting that several - if not many - members of their profession had been falsely separating children from their families based on crackpot theories and deliberate untruths - snatch squads of social workers turning up in the middle of the night in some cases, how traumatic is that for a child? - they attacked the victims, specifically blaming parents' groups for placing vulnerable children at risk.
All anyone is asking is that paediatricians should act in a professional manner, with due regard for logic, evidence and the limits of their own expertise (not posing as statisticians or making up facts, for instance -see Meadows law or the '3m to one against 3 cot deaths in a family). It's appalling that their colleagues didn't rein in these rogue paediatricians, or slavishly followed to the same fashionable orthodoxy. It's even worse than the medical profession failing to warn anyone that Rodney Ledward was butchering women, or blow the whistle on the many other doctors who have harmed their patients. Clearly most doctors are good, competent people who care about their patients but there have been too many cases where they have turned a blind eye to colleagues who are damaging patients. Wrongly tearing a child away from his or her family, home and school is damaging, unless there is real evidence that the child has been harmed or is at risk, not just the inflated opinions of some egotistical extremist.

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 13:43:07

To clarify, I'm not having a go at you, BGD, but I do feel strongly about the reaction of paediatricians to the systematic failures of their profession.

Bunglie Tue 11-Jan-05 13:43:12

Forgive me for being cynicle(sp), but I do not think there will ever be a lack of expert witnesses. They get paid a lot of money to give their opinion and they get credibility in their profession.
I think that you always get good and bad in all cases, but as someone posted on the 'Southall' thread, they had acted as an expert witness but they get suspicious when the 'expert' only ever gives evidence for the prosecution.
However who would use MSbP as a defence?

Edam keep blushing, as usual you were spot on.

I would like to know why she was refused compensation though.

nasa Tue 11-Jan-05 13:46:32

bunglie, see my earlier post with quote from home office bod. And pinkmamas.

pinkmama Tue 11-Jan-05 13:48:14

Sorry nasa, hadn't read your post properly, and so much more eloquently put than my rant!

edam Tue 11-Jan-05 13:49:23

On the Today programme this a.m. I think someone from the Home Office claimed that it didn't qualify as an official miscarriage of justice, for the reasons Pinkmama mentioned - she one on first appeal (and also because she 'only' spent a couple of years in prison). FFS.

I used to work for an expert witness, in another field, and he was measured, serious, and painstaking in identifying all the evidence and making sure that his report (and evidence given in court) was very clear about distinguishing fact from opinion and in stating the limits of his expertise. If only they were all like that...

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