• STV
  • MySTV

Mother released after conviction for murdering baby son quashed

Kimberley Hainey had her convictions for murder and perverting the course of justice overturned.

Declan Hainey: Neglected and murdered by mother Kimberley.

A mother had been released from prison after her conviction for murdering her baby son was quashed.

Kimberley Hainey, 38, will walk free from prison after her conviction for killing two-year-old Declan was overturned.

At the Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday, judges gave their reasons for granting the appeal.

Lords Clarke, Mackay of Drumadoon and Drummond Young said two witnesses gave evidence they were not qualified to give.

Professor Sue Black and Dr Cunningham had told the court about Harris lines, tell-tale marks on bones which indicate malnutrition.

But appeal judges said they should not have been asked about these aspects of the case.

The judgement reads: "Since both of these witnesses accepted in evidence that they did not have the necessary competence and qualifications to speak to this topic."

The judges went on to say the judge in the case, Lord Woolman, put emphasis on Professor Black and Dr Cunningham’s evidence while charging the jury. They say this was wrong.

The judgement states: "It seems quite clear to us that the trial judge erred in a material respect in not instructing the jury to put out of their minds completely the evidence given by Professor Black and Dr Cunningham…on the topic of cortical erosion.

"There was not only a failure on the part of the trial judge to tell the jury to put this evidence out of their minds but he chose, as has been seen, to refer expressly to it and to leave it with the jury for their consideration.

"The judge’s charge was wholly inadequate in saying that…the jury had to scrutinise that evidence 'with care'. The misdirection and failures in direction by the trial judge were highly material and had resulted in a miscarriage of justice."

Hainey also had her conviction for perverting the course of justice overturned after judges allowed a late appeal against the charge which was unopposed by the Crown.

The Crown Office said they would not be taking the case any further, meaning Hainey will not face a retrial.

Last year she was found guilty of murdering her son Declan, whose mummified body was found in the cot at his home in Renfrewshire in March 2010.

Declan had been due to turn two when his body was discovered in the flat in Bruce Road, Paisley, although he had not been seen alive for eight months.

Heroin addict Hainey was convicted of murder and hiding Declan's body to prevent police from investigating the death. She was also found guilty of neglecting her son and failing to report his death.

The trial heard how she abandoned the toddler, without food or water, while she went out drinking and taking drugs. After Declan's death, Hainey sold his clothes and toys to buy heroin.

The jury at her six-week trial a year ago were shown photos of rubbish, dirty clothes and nappies littering the squalid flat.

In January last year, judge Lord Woolman jailed Hainey for life and ordered she should serve at least 15 years before she can ask the parole board to free her.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This must be at least 6 characters long.
ShowHide
This field is required. This must be at least 6 characters long.
You must be over 16 to join STV.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
We need this to check that you live in an STV region.
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid postcode
Would you like us to email you about our great shows and services from time to time?
We'll only send emails we think you'll like (see example) based on information you have supplied and shows you have watched on STV Player. For details on emails and advertising, see our STV & You page.
Would you like to receive emails from the Scottish Children's Lottery about draws, instant games and competitions?
We support the Scottish Children's Lottery (SCL), which is managed by our colleagues at STV ELM Ltd. You can find out more about the SCL on its website, including its Privacy Policy.

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, and understand our Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.