Donna Anthony

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Donna Anthony is a British woman from Somerset who was jailed in 1998 after being convicted of the murder of her two babies. She was cleared and freed after having spent more than six years in prison.

She was one of several women at the centre of high-profile cases where evidence given by the controversial paediatrician Professor Sir Roy Meadow led to convictions of mothers who reported more than one cot death.

Anthony's daughter died in February 1996, at the age of eleven months. Her four-month-old son died in March 1997. In November 1998, twenty-five-year-old Anthony was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, following a trial in which it was suggested that she had smothered her son in order to get sympathy from her estranged husband.[1] She made an unsuccessful appeal against her conviction in 2000.

In January 2003, the conviction of Sally Clark — jailed for life for the murder of her two sons — was quashed. In June that year, Trupti Patel was acquitted of murdering her babies. In December, Angela Cannings was cleared after spending more than a year in prison for the murder of her sons. The prosecution in all four cases had relied on evidence supplied by Sir Roy Meadow, who said that the chances of two babies dying of natural causes within the same family were one in 73 million. Meadow's evidence was later discredited, and he was subsequently struck off by the General Medical Council (though he was reinstated on appeal).[2][3] Following the overturning of Angela Cannings's conviction, twenty-eight cases, including that of Donna Anthony, were referred to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC), and Anthony was freed in April 2005.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Mother jailed for killing her babies BBC News, November 17, 1998.
  2. ^ Sir Roy Meadow struck off by GMC BBC News July 15, 2005.
  3. ^ Sally Clark doctor wins GMC case BBC News February 17, 2006.
  4. ^ Anthony latest mother to be freed BBC News April 11, 2005.
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