The High Court last week ordered a toddler be returned to her parents after she was removed at birth following the death of her brother in 2009 bringing to an end the criminal and childcare proceedings. Jayden Wray died at Great Ormond Street hospital in July 2009, aged four months old and his parents, Chana Al-Alas and Rohan Wray, were accused of his murder. In October 2010 their daughter, was removed at birth by social services.
At the end of last year, the couple was cleared of murder charges following expert evidence that Jayden suffered from rickets caused by a vitamin D deficiency and that it was this medical condition which caused his injuries. The High Court in London last week accepted this evidence and cleared the couple of any wrong doing, paving the way for their daughter to return home.
You can read Ann Thompson of Goodman Ray who acted for Chana Al-Alas HERE.
‘Nothing is as sad as the death of a child. But for these parents the nightmare went on and on. Our experience in cases such as these highlights the importance of expert evidence but also in knowing the limits of scientific knowledge in this complex and developing area, a fact recognised by most of the experts. For this reason it is of the utmost importance to approach these cases with an open mind, not to rush to judgment but from the start to look at all possible causes. Had this happened in this case I do not believe these parents would have had to undergo this ordeal. Without legal aid funding it would not have been possible to obtain the evidence that led to my client being cleared in the criminal case and then on the even more stringent criteria in the family law case.’
Jon is editor of the Justice Gap. He is a freelance journalist. Jon's books include The First Miscarriage of Justice (Waterside Press, 2014), The Justice Gap (LAG, 2009) and People Power (Daily Telegraph/LawPack, 2008). Jon is a journalism lecturer at Winchester University and a visiting senior fellow in access to justice at the University of Lincoln. He is twice winner of the Bar Council's journalism award (2015 and 2005) and is shortlisted for this year's Criminal Justice Alliance's journalism award