Mistrial declared in alleged shaken baby case

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Colin James Matchim in Newfoundland Supreme Court today. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

A Newfoundland Supreme Court judge has declared a mistrial in the case of Colin James Matchim after his lawyers won an application to the court to have fresh evidence entered into the case.

Matchim, 27, was convicted of aggravated assault in November 2011 following a 17-day trial, being found guilty at that time of causing his infant daughter brain damage by shaking her.

 After the trial, his new lawyers from Bob Simmonds and Partners Firm, made an application to have new medical information presented that wasn't entered into evidence during the trial.

A hearing of the application concluded in June. It saw medical experts from around the world testify, and included complex medical evidence that delved into the widely debated issue of Shaken Baby Syndrome and its validity.

Justice Wayne Dymond decided that the new evidence should be introduced into the case and declared a mistrial.

It is now up to the Crown to decided if they will proceed with a new trial.

That decision will be made when the case is called again during October arraignments.

Organizations: Bob Simmonds and Partners Firm

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  • Sue Luttner
    September 09, 2013 - 18:29

    Thank you for covering this welcome decision about a controversial diagnosis. Unbelievable as it is if you haven't seen it first hand, sincere doctors trained with a flawed but widely accepted model of infant head injury have been over-diagnosing shaking injuries for three decades and counting. My best wishes to this family. Although the symptoms that define shaken baby syndrome can result from abuse, they can also represent any of a long and growing list of legitimate medical conditions, including accidental injury. For the story of one family torn apart when their son's genetic disorder was misdiagnosed as shaking injury, please see http://onsbs.com/prologue/

  • Carlson
    September 09, 2013 - 12:09

    Good. SBS is a myth, and if you think it is a real thing, go look into it. No one should be convicted of a thing that doesn't exist. Do parents sometimes hurt their children? Sadly, yes, far, far too often. Should a parent shake a child? Obviously no, as that is still physical abuse and they should be held to account for that. Does shaking a child cause brain hemorrhage? No. Flat out no. No way. No how. No. Look into it. It is one of the gravest legal errors of our time. We are conviciting people of killing their children who have not done it. Is there any worse thing you could have happen than to have your child die and then be held accountable for it when you didn't do it?