CPS slammed over baby death case

A FATHER cleared of killing his baby son has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for taking more than 20 months to end his "distressing and traumatic" ordeal.

A FATHER cleared of killing his baby son has criticised the Crown Prosecution Service for taking more than 20 months to end his "distressing and traumatic" ordeal.

Stephen Watts, 35, was told that no evidence was being offered on a charge of the manslaughter of his nine-week-old son, Cameron.

Mr Watts, of New Road, Trimley St Mary was first arrested in November 2002 – four days before Cameron's death in hospital.

But deputy High Court Judge Sir John Blofield entered a not guilty verdict at Norwich Crown Court after prosecutor Denis Barry told him: "It appears no-one could be certain what the cause of death was."


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The judge expressed concern over the length of time it had taken the CPS to come to the decision and said he was anxious that someone had such a charge "hanging over their heads for a very long time".

After the hearing, Mr Watts' solicitor David Stewart said: "This has been very distressing and traumatic for him as it has been 20 months since his son Cameron died. He is very relieved that the case is over.

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"He is disappointed it has taken the prosecution authorities so long to reach their decision not to proceed, but is relieved. He has at last established his innocence."

Relatives of Mr Watts, who is formerly of Stowmarket, also attended the short court hearing but the family declined to comment following the hearing yesterday.

Cameron died on November 22, 2002, in Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, 10 days after he was admitted.

Following the hearing, Chris Yule, chief crown prosecutor, said: "The Crown Prosecution Service accepted this case for prosecution on the basis of expert medical evidence contained within the file prepared after the police investigation.

"Once the Crown was made aware by the defence of a second medical examination it acted quickly to get further expert opinion.

He said the experts final report was received on Monday which led to the decision not to prosecute Mr Watts.

He added: "CPS Suffolk has worked hard to deal with this case in the fastest possible time while still allowing correct and detailed evidence to be gathered."

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