Professor accused Sally Clark's husband after TV intervi

June 7, 2004

A senior paediatrician who claimed that the husband of the exonerated solicitor, Sally Clark, murdered their two babies will appear before the medical watchdog today. Professor David Southall is facing charges of serious professional misconduct at a hearing before the General Medical Council (GMC) in Manchester.Professor Southall contacted the police after he saw Steve Clark being interviewed on television while his wife was serving a life sentence for the two children’s deaths.Mrs Clark was later released after the Court of Appeal quashed her conviction in January, 2003. The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary, broadcast on April 27, 2000, featured an interview with Mr Clark, in which he described a nosebleed suffered by their first baby, Christopher, in a London hotel just 10 days before he died in December, 1996.Professor Southall told the police after seeing the programme that it was his professional opinion that it was Mr Clark, rather than his wife, who had killed Christopher and his brother, Harry.Mr Clark was subsequently interviewed by social workers and the courts appointed another paediatrician to review Professor Southall’s claims.The second paediatrician did not agree with Professor Southall and the matter went no further. Mr Clark then lodged a complaint against the professor with the GMC in London.The GMC said it was investigating allegations that Professor Southall “produced a report based on his viewing of a Channel 4 Dispatches programme regarding a case with which he was not connected”.The charge continued: “In doing so, his actions were inappropriate, irresponsible, misleading and an abuse of his professional position.”Professor Southall, who is based at North Staffordshire Hospital in Stoke, is one of Britain’s leading experts on Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, a condition which apparently drives parents to harm their own children in order to win attention.Mrs Clark was convicted in 1999 of murdering her children, partially as a result of evidence given at her trial by another paediatrician, Sir Roy Meadow. Sir Roy will face charges of serious professional misconduct when he appears before the GMC later this year.

The Times

 

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