Jacqueline Fletcher

Years in prison:
4
Year of crime:
1984
Year conviction was overturned:
1992

Jacqueline Fletcher was convicted of drowning her six week old son, Glen. The death was initially found to be a cot-death, but was reinvestigated when she said to another of her children, in front of her landlady, “I’ll do to you what I done to the other.” When interviewed by police she initially said she had found the baby dead, but later she admitted killing Glen, saying this was a result of post-natal depression. In court, she described drowning Glen and a pathologist concluded that the pathology of body tissues was consistent with drownning. The pathologist described the lungs as “waterlogged” (although it later turned out this had been an attempt at putting complex pathology into layman’s language, and that he was referring to naturally occuring body fluid). On appeal, her conviction was quashed on the basis of the unreliability of her confession due to her low IQ (70) and young mental age (of 10 years). There was also inconsistencies in the method by which she said she had drowned Glen. A clinical psychiatrist gave evidence that it was highly unlikely Fletcher would have used the phrase “post natal depression.” In addition, a number of paedeatric experts found that the pathology was equally consistent with cot death as it was with drowning.

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  • Offence: Murder
  • Jurisdiction: England & Wales
  • County: Warwikshire 
  • Ethnicity: Unknown
  • Gender: F
  • Years in prison: 4
  • Offence convicted of: Murder
  • Year of crime: 1984
  • Year of initial conviction: 1988
  • Year conviction was overturned: 1992
  • Age when imprisoned: Unknown
  • CCRC Referral: N
  • Tried with others: N
  • Link to full case: Not available
  • Type of fresh evidence at appeal: Evidence undermining the reliability of a confession
  • Compensation: Unknown
  • Crown argued case at CofA: No
  • Retrial: Unknown
  • Previous appeals: Unknown