Judge grants appeal in Smith baby case

Jan 06, 2009 12:28 PM


An Ontario judge has given a man the chance to appeal a conviction in his infant son's death that his lawyers say was the result of evidence from a now disgraced pathologist.

Dr. Charles Smith concluded that Richard Brant's son likely died in 1992 from being violently shaken, despite a pathologist who did the autopsy listing pneumonia and respiratory failure as causes of death.

Brant says his lawyer at the time explained Smith was considered ``the king" of his field and his opinions were virtually impossible to challenge, so he took a deal and pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 1995.

Smith's work was the focus of a public inquiry last year that blasted key players, including Smith, in a forensics scandal that saw innocent people branded as child killers.

Lawyer James Lockyer, who is now handling Brant's case, asked the Ontario Court of Appeal today for a time extension to file an appeal and Justice Marc Rosenberg granted it.

Lockyer has until Friday to file the appeal, but says he will probably do so today.

Lockyer says he will be asking the court to quash Brant's conviction and enter an acquittal.