Shaken baby syndrome conviction quashed

A father jailed for shaking his baby to death had his conviction quashed by the Supreme Court in Stockholm, Thursday.

In a judgment which could lead to the retrials of other convictions involving "shaken baby syndrome", the Supreme Court stated on Thursday that there was enough 'reasonable doubt' that the man was responsible for his child's injuries.

The Supreme Court said that the science behind "shaken baby syndrome" is uncertain and in the case before it, it was not possible to establish that the infant's injuries could have been caused by shaking or other violence from the father's side. It said that some of the signs attributed to shaken baby syndrome, such as bleeding from the retina and bleeding between the brain and skull, could have been caused by other factors connected to the baby's medical history.

The man, who in June 2012 was sentenced to serve one and a half years in prison for aggravated assault by the Court of Appeal, had admitted to shaking his three month old baby son 'lightly' the day he was taken to hospital because he panicked when it lost consciousness.

"My client and I are very happy, he is really relieved, " said the father's lawyer Ann Bark to Swedish Radio News.

Shaken baby syndrome, which also goes by other names, has been hotly debated by medical experts in recent years after it was first identified in the 1970s, with critics arguing it is based on outdated research. Some new research suggests that even very gentle, accidental shaking could be fatal in certain vulnerable individuals.