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Pathologist cases reviewed

31st October 2006

Cases involving a former Home Office pathologist are to be reviewed, BBC Online has reported.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission is looking at nine murder and the manslaughter cases involving Dr Michael Heath, including the case of Michael Stone, serving life for the murders in July 1996 of Lin and Megan Russell in Kent.

Dr Heath quit after criticism from the forensic pathology watchdog.

The commission looked at around 50 cases involving Dr Heath. It has the power to refer convictions to the Court of Appeal when it suspects there may have been a miscarriage of justice.

Five convictions have given officials cause for concern and are to be investigated in more detail. Four others are already being considered, including that of Stone.

Already three convictions involving Dr Heath have been quashed.

Dr Heath resigned in September after a disciplinary panel ruled that his post-mortem examinations on two women led to their partners' murder trials. Both men were eventually cleared.

Now Michael Stone’s solicitors have asked the commission to examine Dr Heath's post-mortem examination findings, though this evidence forms only one part of their submission.

Dr Heath has conducted hundreds of examinations since being appointed to his role in 1991. The attorney general has ruled out a review of all of Dr Heath's cases.





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