TORONTO — A Toronto man says being acquitted today in the 1992 death of his infant son has lifted a huge weight off his shoulders.
Dinesh Kumar was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his five-week-old son Gaurov 19 years ago.
He pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death and was sentenced to 90 days to be served on weekends.
His lawyer says Kumar felt pressured to take the plea because of the expert opinion of now-disgraced Dr. Charles Smith, who concluded Gaurov died of shaken baby syndrome.
New opinions from various medical experts have found that Smith’s conclusion is no longer scientifically valid.
The Court of Appeal for Ontario court set aside Kumar’s conviction today, calling it unreasonable in light of the new medical evidence.
“We appreciate the terrible toll this case has taken on you and your family,” Justice Marc Rosenberg said on behalf of the panel of judges.
Outside court, tears streamed down Kumar’s face as he talked about how for 19 years people have talked behind his back and pointed fingers at him as being responsible for his newborn’s death.
“I can’t explain what kind of life I had before and now it’s totally different — like a big burden out of my shoulders,” he said.
Kumar held up a picture of little Gaurov that he carries around with him to this day.
“He’s always in my heart,” Kumar said, his voice breaking with emotion.
“I never forget him. He (will) always stay with me until I die. I miss him lots.”
A judicial inquiry into Smith’s work found the pathologist’s testimony was responsible, in part, for several people being wrongfully convicted of killing children and being sentenced to prison.
While the Crown agreed Kumar’s conviction shouldn’t stand, it pointed out his guilty plea was valid at the time and based on current medical knowledge.