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Angela Cannings: Experts are full of doubts.

Byline: JENNY FORSYTH

EXPERT witnesses warned the jury against labelling Angela Cannings a murderer just because medical science could not pinpoint the reason for her babies' deaths.

Genetic disorders, environmental pollution, heart defects or known cot death risk factors such as smoking and lying the child on its stomach could all have been to blame.

Dr Ian Rushton, a retired pathologist, said it was very difficult to differentiate between a child who has died from cot death and one who has been suffocated.

"Yet if parents have two or more children who die of unexplained reasons they are seen as guilty until proven innocent," he said.

"In some respects it turns the law on its head as there is an assumption of guilt because a death can not be firmly attributed to cot death."

Professor Jean Golding, an expert in patterns of disease and illness, said genetic flaws could explain the mystery deaths. And she pointed to one of Cannings' relatives in Ireland who had suffered two cot deaths and almost lost another child.

Winterbourne Gunner in Salisbury where the Cannings live also has a high rate of child deaths - four in an 18- month period, including two of the Cannings' children.

CAPTION(S):

COT DEATH: Gemma; MYSTERY: Jason; MYSTERY: Matthew
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 21, 2002
Words:211
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