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Dutch nurse jailed for seven murders has conviction quashed

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 16 April 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2100
  1. Tony Sheldon
  1. 1Utrecht

    In one of the worst miscarriages of justice in Dutch history, the nurse Lucia de Berk has had her conviction on seven charges of murder and three of attempted murder of babies and elderly people in her care quashed.

    Ms de Berk, 48, who spent six years of a life sentence in jail for her alleged crimes, always denied the charges. Last week the chairman of the public prosecution service, Harm Brouwer, personally apologised and acknowledged her innocence.

    The case has parallels with that of Sally Clark, the mother convicted in the United Kingdom of murdering her two children. In that case the expert witness Roy Meadow declared that the chances of Mrs Clark’s babies having both died as a result of cot deaths was 73 million to one.

    In the case of Ms de Berk the court was told by an expert witness that more children had died on her shifts than …

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