Man accused of shaking baby acquitted

Rosie Mullaley
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A man who had been accused of shaking his infant daughter and causing her brain damage has been found not guilty.

Colin James Matchim and his lawyer Erin Breen speak with reporters outside Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John's today.

The decision to acquit Colin James Matchim was handed down this afternoon in the case at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.

Justice Carl Thompson made the ruling after Crown prosecutor Frances Knickle informed the court that she would be calling no evidence.

Having reviewed the case, she said, “the Crown has determined there is no reasonable prospect of conviction on the criminal standard.”

Matchim smiled as he left the courtroom with his lawyers Erin Breen and Bob Simmonds.

Outside court, Matchim was emotional and told reporters it was difficult to put into words just how relieved he is that it’s finally over.

Matchim had been convicted in 2011 of aggravated assault for causing his infant daughter’s brain injury by shaking her in 2009.

However, before sentencing, Matchim’s new lawyers applied to have the case reopened and new medical evidence introduced. Following a hearing — which saw experts from around the world offer their opinions on shaken baby syndrome — a mistrial was declared.

The Crown indicated it would proceed with a second trial.

However, Knickle indicated that upon further review of the extensive and complicated material, a conviction was unlikely.

Organizations: Newfoundland Supreme Court

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