HMA v Syeda Begum 2020

Ms Begum who appealed against her conviction after being found guilty of assaulting a young baby in April 2019 has had her appeal refused at the High Court who concluded there was no miscarriage of justice.

The child was left with a brain bleed and potential future difficulties after the assault which took place in Aberdeen when Ms Begum was the child’s childminder. Ms Begum was sentenced to three years imprisonment for the crime. The appeal was on the basis that the expert report, presented during the trial, contained hearsay evidence.

However, the appeal court did not agree with Lord Carloway concluding the appeal: “In any event, no miscarriage of justice could have risen in respect of the statements in the reports. These were, for the most part, used in the course of the examination and cross examination of the witnesses notably the baby’s parents. The discrepancies, such as they were, between what the experts understood the position to be at the stage of preparing their reports and the evidence in court was fully explored by the appellant’s counsel in the court of her speech to the jury.” It was concluded that the judge in his charge, directed the jury appropriately and therefore the appeal must be refused. The first offender remains imprisoned.