UK - Christian Blewitt, 3, dies of salt poisoning, Worcestershire, 8 Dec 2002

Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by Britlaw, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Britlaw

    Britlaw New Member

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    For any people that are interested we have had another case here where a a parent/parents have been found responsible for the death of child (this was both for manslaughter and they were actually fostering the boy rather than biological parents) but have had their convictions quashed. It was an unusual case (alleged salt poisoning) but we are getting a reputation over here for wrongful convictions of parents in death of children cases. They face a retrial but, like Sion Jenkins, have been freed on bail after 15months in custody (they got 5 years). http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/legal/article357432.ece
    Sally Clark, Angela Cannings, Sion Jenkins and now the Gays.
     
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  3. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    So, you can actually salt someone to death, eh? LOL!

    Not funny that the child died though. Probably was not too strange for him. Poor kid. Did they ever determine how these folks knew 6 teaspoons of salt would kill the boy?
     
  4. CyberLaw

    CyberLaw Former Member

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    Remember that women who was on trial in the USA, she gave her adopted child salt as a punishment and the child died.

    She was tried and convicted. So really unless there is conclusive evidence that this child had a medical condition......I would vote to convict, especially considering the physical injuries the child had.

    Oh yeah a person can die as a result of too much salt. I don't think so much as an adult, but a small child, definately.

    I would say the reason that the salt was not expelled by the kidneys is that he was given the salt at one time and the body could not cope with an overdose of salt. That is why he died.
     
  5. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    Wow, that is interesting. Kind like arsenic. A little at a time won't kill you, but a bunch at one time will drop you in your tracks. I just never thought of salt as a poison.

    I don't remember the American case, but I do recall a case in Tennessee where the parents gave a small child chili pepper and it killed her. Can you imagine? I think the judge gave them 99 years and a day to make sure they never got out. They should have gotten the death penalty though. I think that poor kid went thru pure torture for three days. And we think Mums won't kill their young.
     
  6. Britlaw

    Britlaw New Member

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    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,200-2132030_1,00.html ......
    Glyn Walters, a retired specialist consultant in chemical pathology, told the appeal judges that he was sure Christian’s blood-salt levels were not the result of poisoning.
    He pointed out that Christian’s body had failed to excrete the salt as would have been expected during the days he spent dying in a coma. One explanation would be a rare condition, where a region of the brain fails to do its job of detecting high levels of salt and having it flushed out of the system. There had been only two documented cases, both in adults, but there was no reason that a child would be unsusceptible.

    We'll see what the new trial brings. They were only originally concivted of manslaughter by the way, and got 5 yrs. At Angela Cannings appeal (murder) the CA ruled that it was unsafe to prosecute when the only evidence was from experts on each side.If it wasnt for the bruises. the Gays wouldnt be facing a retrial, because of them they are.
     
  7. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    They might regret getting the new trial then. Imagine if they were convicted the next time of murder. So do you think they murdered the boy or are we looking at an unlikely chain of coincidental events leading to a natural death?
     
  8. Britlaw

    Britlaw New Member

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    Wow Goody, didnt know you were sitting there!! I just edited my post with this bit...

    We'll see what the new trial brings. They were only originally convicted of manslaughter and got 5 yrs. At Angela Canning's appeal (murder) the CA ruled that it was unsafe to prosecute when the only evidence was from experts on each side. If it wasnt for the bruises, the Gays wouldnt be facing a retrial, because of them they are.

    They wont be tried for murder, as the original trial found there were other explanations for the bruises, reducing to manslaughter, so effectively NG of murder. As the bruises were the only evidence the prosecution had to show show the couple force fed the salt (more a theory than evidence really) I think they'll be found not guilty on the application of the CA ruling in Cannings. Michael Mansfield is an awesome QC. Interesting link to the Today programme http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/newsletter/newsletter_20050321.shtml with audio report.
     
  9. Britlaw

    Britlaw New Member

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    Further to this, I also think that the authorities were somewhat naive sending 3 very young children all at once to a couple in late 30's used to independence and the finer things in life. Not that I am saying that people like this cant make great parents, nor that the Gays are materialistic but its a bit of a shock to the system even when they are your own flesh & blood and they come one at a time. These were kids of different ages from a difficult family. They were always going to be demanding and they should have perhaps gone to more experienced people.

    The other unusual bit about the case is that the husband was to be the carer as the wife was a £200,000 a year actuary. Not saying men dont make wonderful homemakers but its unusual in these circumstances thats all.
     
  10. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    People like that aren't used to kids period and often adopt and find themselves in over their heads. We had a case locally not long ago where the adoptive mother killed the child. She had no prior record and it just boiled down to not being emotionally prepared for parenthood.

    Wow, Nancy Grace has the Nashville Medical Examiner on her show now as an expert. He is opining on the Duke rape case. Guess he is moving up in the world since his autopsy of Matt Winkler. He worked on Tammy Wynette, too. Big todo between Tammy's children and the stepfather about how she died and the estate. It was one of Dr. Levy's first cases after coming to Nashville. Think he was a little star struck then.
     
  11. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    We may get booted into another section but here goes...... But anyone who has small children knows that it's extremely hard to make one eat something as revolting as four teaspoons of pure salt... As Dr Peter Acland, a Home Office pathologist who'd conducted a post mortem on the child put it : "there were no grip marks on the arms, or other signs the child had been held down".

    One person could have straddled the child without leaving any bruises and without actually sitting on him yet control his arm and leg movements. All you have to do is put the head between your knees to keep it from moving back and forth too wildly and use your legs and body to control the rest of the body while squeezing his little mouth so it would pucker and pour the salt in. The kid would cough and sputter but one could control that by simply placing a hand over his mouth. So the bruises on the limbs are totally not necessary, but I would expect to find bruising on the cheeks if the person doing it was extremely angry or handled the child roughly. I could give my spoiled brats medication that way without bruising them at all, but it was only a half of teaspoon of cherry flavored stuff I had to get down. (I didn't place my hand over their mouth to keep them from spitting it at me though. n And trust me the little suckers would if they got a chance! hahahah.)


    Now back to the document. .........nothing there to sink my teeth in. One question does stick out though. Why did they think these folks would have chosen salt as a weapon to use against he little boy. Might he have cussing? Could salt be like washing one's mouth out with soap? Or did they just read a report and jump on it without any solid proof to back up their claims?

    I would think they would have to show a link between the defendants and the use of salt as a punishment.
     
  12. Britlaw

    Britlaw New Member

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    This link is more informative of the whole picture and is without the appeal process stuff, as it reports the situation at the time they were granted leave to appeal http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/features/tm_objectid=15908190%26method=full%26siteid=50082%26page=1%26headline=manslaughter%2d%2d%2dor%2dmiscarriage%2dof%2djustice%2d-name_page.html There's 3 pages.

    I live about 25 miles from where this couple lived at the time so there was media coverage here but its nothing like on the scale of media activity you get over the pond for high profile cases and the CJS process here isnt so open. Anyone can usually sit in the public gallery of courts if there is room but we dont have court tv etc, so we dont get the whole story.

    I wonder if I could persuade the mods to have a Britcrime section. We have some interesting cases here. Even if you dont debate them they are interesting to read. A nurse convicted here today of intentionally injecting patients with drugs to endanger their lives so he could resustitate them and revel in the glory....but two of them died :(
     
  13. Goody

    Goody New Member

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    I bet they would. Why don't you ask?
     
  14. OkieGranny

    OkieGranny New Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    From March 2007:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukn...ng-boy-with-salt-cleared-by-retrial-jury.html

     

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