Nigel Lithman, leading medical barrister
There has been a rapid expansion in this area and as one of the UK’s leading medical barristers Nigel has become intensely interested, knowledgeable and adept at representing those charged with crimes linked to medical issues. These include crimes committed whilst suffering with mental illness, autism, aspergers or other psychological conditions.
The ITV programme Real Crime: “A deadly secret” was based on R v Stocker, where he secured the acquittal of murder of a mother charged with killing her child by salt poisoning. The mother suffered from the syndrome Munchausen by Proxy. This 3 month Old Bailey trial involved evidence from over 60 staff, medical and psychiatric experts, mainly based at Great Ormond Street hospital.
In the case of R v Johnston, Nigel secured the acquittal of a son charged with the murder of his father during an epileptic fit, successfully using expert testimony to establish the impact of medication on his mental state and that the correct plea was to manslaughter: diminished responsibility rather than murder.
“Baby Shaking Cases”
Nigel has acted in eight separate cases of parents charged with causing non – accidental trauma to babies, invariably leading to fatality. These are highly technical cases involving difficult medical concepts and Nigel has developed a real understanding of the specialist medical issues in these cases, benefitting from both prosecuting and defending in a number of these trials.
In R v Patterson, at the Old Bailey, Nigel secured the acquittal of a wife accused of murdering her husband by successfully establishing that she was suffering from “battered wife syndrome” at the time of the killing.
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