Salt death pair 'felt abandoned'

Relates to:
Date: 2007-03-07
Source: BBC

A couple who were wrongly jailed for poisoning a boy they wanted to adopt with salt said they had been abandoned by the system over his death.
Christian Blewitt collapsed at the home of Ian and Angela Gay in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, in December 2002.

The couple, now of Halesowen, West Midlands, were cleared of manslaughter and child cruelty last week.

They were jailed for manslaughter but won a retrial as evidence showed Christian's salt levels were natural.

The prosecution claimed the couple had force-fed salt to three-year-old Christian as a form of punishment.

At the retrial the couple's defence team successfully showed a rare medical condition caused Christian's body to store toxic levels of salt.

Speaking to BBC News Angela Gay said they learnt in the trial that Christian had been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, water on the brain, when he was seven-months-old.

But they had never been told he had the condition which had not been treated, she said.

"Christian didn't have follow-up scans, no-one will know for sure how that condition was developing, we still don't know to what extent that condition was affecting Christian's health."

The couple said they felt let down by the system, they were not able to say their goodbyes to Christian before he died.

Ian Gay said:"(There was no support) from the authorities in any shape or form.

"We were left to the mercy of the prosecution, they just wanted somebody to blame for what happened to Christian and we were the candidates."

Following the retrial the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) defended its decision to pursue a retrial in the case.

In a statement, it said: "In the light of the new medical evidence, we believe we were right to place it before a jury for the second time.

"I am satisfied that the CPS fulfilled its duty under the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Our thoughts today are with Christian's family."

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