, STRASBOURG, July 12 – European judges on Friday denied a British woman’s bid for compensation for being wrongly imprisoned for killing her four month old son.
Judges at the Strasbourg based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) said Lorraine Allen, born in 1969, did not qualify for compensation despite her conviction being quashed in 2005 following fresh medical evidence.
The court concluded that “the existence of a miscarriage of justice had not been established beyond reasonable doubt”.
Allen brought the case to the European court after her appeals for compensation were rejected in Britain.
She was jailed in 2000 for the manslaughter of her infant son Patrick, after medical experts told a jury he died from “shaken baby syndrome”.
She served part of a three year sentence and was released, before her conviction was overturned in 2005 when new medical evidence suggested the child’s injuries could have been caused in other ways.
The British courts decided not to proceed with a retrial and Allen did not seek one.
The European court said that because there had been no retrial, it was not known whether there had been a miscarriage of justice.
“Although formally an acquittal her case shared more of the features present in a case in which criminal proceedings had been discontinued,” the court said.