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Jury told `not to flinch'.

JURY members in the trial of a mother accused of killing three of her own babies were yesterday asked to put aside emotion and told that they ``must not flinch'' from returning guilty verdicts.

Prosecuting counsel Paul Dunkels said the case of 35-year-old Trupti Patel had been filled with ``high emotion'' but he told the jury they must not let this stand in the way of a ``clinical assessment'' of the facts.

In his closing speech at the end of the five-and-a-half week trial, Mr Dunkels said that something had driven Patel to harm her children.

``Look at all the evidence, think about the whole story; when you do so you will be driven to the conclusion that you are sure that these babies were killed by this defendant,'' he said.

``It may be a conclusion you come to with a heavy heart, but if, as we suggest, it must be that conclusion, and you find that is what happened, you must not flinch from returning verdicts of guilty.''

Patel, a qualified pharmacist, denies murdering her two baby sons, Amar and Jamie, and baby daughter Mia, none of whom survived beyond the age of three months.

All three collapsed in separate incidents at the Patels' family home in Maidenhead, Berkshire, between 1997 and 2001 and later died.

Mr Dunkels said it was not necessary for the jury to find that Patel had plotted to smother or suffocate her children for them to find her guilty.

He said it was enough for there to have been an intention to kill that came to her ``in one moment'' and then left, leaving her distressed.

``There does not have to be some sort of plotting, or planning, or premeditation - it is plain there was not,'' he said.

The case continues.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jun 7, 2003
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