He denied the alleged lie, insisting on his last day of testimony at a public inquiry that he did attempt to help Louise Reynolds.
"It was done on the spur of the moment out of concern or compassion," Smith testified. "Trying to be helpful is one of the things that characterizes me . . . I confess my ignorance, I confess my arrogance at thinking I could have done something to make it better."
Dr. Smith's opinions were key to the Crown's case against
Ms. Reynolds, charged with stabbing to death her daughter,
Sharon, with scissors in 1997. It was later determined the
girl was killed by a dog, after other experts refuted the
He told a Maclean's magazine journalist in 2001, however, he felt bad about the seemingly inept lawyer acting for her at the 1998 preliminary hearing in Kingston, Ont., and "pleaded" with three judges and a defence lawyer to get her better counsel.
"Isn't that just another fabrication, sir, just like the comments about Justice Dunn?" asked Peter Wardle, lawyer for Ms. Reynolds and others prosecuted in Smith cases.
"That's not true, that's absolutely not true," the pathologist shot back.
Dr. Smith has already admitted he told a false story under oath about a private conversation with Justice Patrick Dunn, who severely criticized his testimony in a 1991 ruling.
On Friday, he told the inquiry he spoke to a "senior member of the defence bar" about finding Ms. Reynolds a more competent lawyer.
In the interview with journalist Jane O'Hara, he related a slightly different version of events, saying at one point he had pleaded with "two judges" in the courthouse cafeteria to do something about the situation. He said he also spoke to a senior defence lawyer, fearing that "regardless of whether she is guilty or innocent, she's going to be found guilty."
Later, he told Mr. O'Hara he asked a family-court judge if he could help find Ms. Reynolds a new lawyer.
Prosecutors later withdrew the murder charge, as evidence mounted that a dog had killed Sharon.
Ms. Reynolds spent almost two years behind bars.
Later, under questioning by Suzan Fraser, a lawyer for the group Defence For Children International, Dr. Smith conceded that the problems besetting his work in criminal prosecutions may also have entered into the children's aid cases where he offered opinions.
Several children were seized temporarily or permanently in the criminal cases the inquiry is looking at, and the pathologist said Friday he testified in three or four other children's aid matters.
Dr. Smith ended five often dramatic days of testimony at the inquiry, which is examining both his work and Ontario's pediatric forensic pathology system generally.
It was called after international experts concluded he had made errors in investigations of 20 criminally suspicious child deaths between 1991 and 2001. Parents or others were prosecuted in most of the case, though many have since been cleared.
The pathologist admitted this week he had made mistakes, said his training in forensic pathology was "woefully inadequate" and apologized numerous times for his actions. Yet he also defended his work in some of the discredited cases and suggested the expert review was unfairly stacked against him.
Justice Stepehen Goudge is expected to submit his report by April 25.