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How the Trupti Patel murder case collapsed

Key prosecution witness, Prof Rupert Risdon's statement was critical. He said that he had come across similar rib injuries in babies that had been caused by attempted resuscitation. Trupti had claimed that she tried resuscitation.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2004 11:57 IST

The case against Trupti Patel hinged on the disputed testimony of medical experts. The CPS case was that four ribs of Mia were found fractured. That was put forward as evidence that her mother must have squeezed the baby's chest to stop her breathing. But the proposition collapsed as the eminent paediatric pathologist Prof Rupert Risdon, a key prosecution witness, said that evidence had come to light which cast doubt on the earlier diagnosis.

Dr Risdon, who had performed the post-mortem examination of Mia, said in the court that he had recently come across similar rib injuries in babies that had been caused by attempted resuscitation. Trupti had claimed that she tried resuscitation, while following instructions given by a qualified person at the emergency cell she had telephoned for an ambulance.

Dr Risdon thus concluded in his testimony that he could no longer say "beyond reasonable doubt" that Mia was smothered.

But the evidence of the grandmother Surajben was the most important. She told the court that the cause of deaths of her five babies was never discovered. Another expert testified that Surajben's evidence indicated metabolic disorder in the family.

The CPS also failed to establish any motive for the alleged killings.

First Published: Jan 06, 2004 11:57 IST