Reviews Press

An expert witness falls from grace

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 10 July 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:110
  1. Naomi Marks, freelance journalist
  1. Brighton

    Sir Roy Meadow in the media firing line

    Since the Court of Appeal cleared Sally Clark in January of murdering her two babies and, more recently, a jury took just 90 minutes to acquit Trupti Patel of triple murder, Sir Roy Meadow, professor of paediatrics and expert witness, has faced a growing critical onslaught from press and broadcast journalists.

    Embedded Image

    A campaigner against Meadow's medical evidence, outside the High Court in London

    Credit: CHRIS YOUNG/PA

    But it was not so long ago that the media was ringing enthusiastically to Sir Roy's soundbites. These included the one in 73 million statistic he cited in the Clark trial as the chance of a cot death occurring twice in the same family, or the so called Meadow's law–that one cot death is a tragedy, two suspicious, three murder–put forward in the Patel case.

    So what is going on? Have the media reappraised the eminent professor's work, considered new evidence in the field of genetics, studied the defects …

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