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Mother cleared of murder.

A MOTHER who served more than two years of a life sentence was freed yesterday after she was cleared at a retrial of murdering her four-month-old son.

When paediatrician Professor Sir Roy Meadow gave evidence at Margaret Smith's original trial in 2002, she was found guilty of smothering her baby Keith at her home in St John's Grove, Hull in 1994.

At the retrial at Newcastle Crown Court -- ordered by the Court of Appeal which found the original conviction was unsafe -- the expert's now-discredited theories were not heard, and the jury cleared her of murder in less than four hours. The jury was not told the defendant and her second husband, Keith Smith Snr, stabbed her first husband to death in 1995.

The couple, who remain together, blamed each other for stabbing 53-year-old Robert ``Jock'' Brannan to death and they served three years each of a six-year manslaughter sentence.

The panel was also unaware that they were hearing a retrial, or that Mrs Smith had been cleared of murdering her five-and-a-half month old daughter Kelly by the same Leeds Crown Court jury which convicted her of killing Keith.

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Margaret Smith was cleared
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 10, 2004
Words:194
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