Indo-Canadian cleared of killing son after 19 years

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS
Thursday, January 20, 2011

TORONTO - An Indo-Canadian man, who was convicted in the death of his five-year-old son 19 years ago, Thursday was cleared of murder charges.

Wiping tears from his eyes after the court verdict here, 44-year-old Dinesh Kumar said, “I am going to get that letter and I am going to put it in my community temples so at least those people know that I am not a killer. I am an innocent guy.”

He said he has lived under stigma all these years because of his false conviction for criminal negligence in the death of his son Gaurav in 1992.

Kumar was convicted on the basis of the testimony of the pathologist who had said that Gaurav died from shaken baby syndrome.

Facing second-degree murder charge, he entered into a plea bargain for lesser punishment. As a result, Kumar was sentenced to just 90 days to be served on weekends but got stigmatized in the close-knit Indo-Canadian community.

He says he entered into plea bargain to avoid deportation to India and separation from his wife and elder son.

But Dr Charles Smith, the pathologist on whose testimony Kumar was convicted, was in a 2008 expert inquiry found responsible for such false conclusions which led to wrong convictions in many cases.

Armed with this inquiry report which said that Dr Smith’s conclusion was not valid in such cases, Kumar’s lawyer approached the Ontario Court of Appeal here.

After hearing both the defence and prosecution lawyers, the court acquitted Kumar Thursday.

Delivering the verdict, the judge expressed sympathy with Kumar for “the terrible toll this case has taken on you and your family.”

Flashing his son’s picture before the media after the verdict, a relieved Kumar said Gaurav is “always in my heart. I never forget him. He will always stay with me until I die. I miss him lots.”

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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