"Bringing Families Together"

"Bringing Families Together"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Doctors in the dock for murder of baby Alexis


Doctors in the dock for murder of baby Alexis

Published Date: 27 November 2010

By Gareth Rose

A JUDGE has hit out at doctors who failed to protect baby Alexis Matheson from repeated, brutal attacks by "devious and deceitful" Mark Simpson.

Alexis has haemorrhages in both eyes but warning signs were not acted upon. Picture: PA

Simpson, 29, was found guilty of murdering the six-week-old daughter of his former girlfriend at the High Court in
Aberdeen yesterday.

His attacks left the baby with brain damage and broken ribs, the court heard.

However, the failure of medics to protect Alexis has prompted calls for changes in
Scotland's child protection system, in the same way the Baby P case led to changes in the law south of the Border.

Lord Uist, who sentenced Simpson to life and at least 20 years in jail, took the unusual step of publicly criticising the care she received at Woodside Medical Group in Aberdeen, saying he had "serious concerns" that her death could have been prevented.

In particular, the court heard the baby had been prescribed three types of drugs by doctors over the phone without ever being examined in person, while signs of abuse were overlooked.

Murdo Fraser, the Scottish Conservatives' health spokesman, said: "These are very serious criticisms by Lord Uist of the way the health services operated.

"Clearly, there were serious failings in relation to this baby's treatment and lessons have to be learned from this case."

More: 'Unthinkable agony' of Scots Baby P

GP practice that dealt with Alexis has questions to answer

The killer: He met girl, 14, on internet and offered to pay her for sex

The judge: man who has presided over high-profile criminal cases

Timeline: a short life brought to a violent end

He added: "The Baby P case down south led to substantial changes being made in the approach to children's health in such cases. The Scottish health authorities have to treat this case with a similar degree of importance and urgency."

The court heard how Alexis' mother, Ilona Sheach, 21, called the medical practice on a Thursday, with serious concerns about her daughter's health but was not offered an appointment until the following week.

When she was finally seen on
29 November, 2007, she was not referred to a hospital paediatrician, despite the baby having "haemorrhages in both eyes" – signs that should have alerted the doctor that abuse may have taken place

No comments:

Post a Comment