Dr. Waney Squier wins appeal over shaken baby syndrome trials evidence
2nd November 2016
Waney Squier, who was barred in March from practising over evidence she gave in criminal trials, cleared of dishonesty
A doctor barred from practising over evidence she gave in criminal trials involving so-called shaken baby syndrome has had her licence reinstated.
Dr Waney Squier, a consultant paediatric neuropathologist, won a high court appeal battle when a judge cleared her of dishonesty on Thursday.
Squier, who worked at John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, had her name removed from the medical register at a medical practitioners tribunal service in March.
The tribunal concluded she gave deliberately misleading and dishonest evidence for the defence in trials between 2007-10 regarding four babies and a 19-month-old who died after sustaining deliberate head injuries.
On Thursday, Mr Justice Mitting overturned the decision, saying it was flawed because her views were not misleading. However, he said she had failed to work “within the limits of her competence, to be objective and unbiased and pay due regard to the views of other experts”.
A spokeswoman for the General Medical Council, which brought the case against Squier, said: “Mr Justice Mitting has confirmed that this case was not about scientific debate and the rights and wrongs of the scientific evidence, but the manner in which Dr Squier gave evidence.
“The ruling makes clear that she acted irresponsibly in her role as an expert witness on several occasions, acted beyond her expertise and lacked objectivity, and sought to cherry-pick research which it was clear did not support her opinions.”
Having heard submissions on sanction, Mr Justice Mitting determined to impose conditions on Dr Squier’s registration designed to prevent her giving expert evidence again in civil, family or criminal courts in the UK, while allowing her to resume her non-medical legal practice and still assist in coroners’ courts.
The conditions apply for three years. They are then subject to review before the end of the three years.