Dad acquitted in infant son's death, 18 years later
Richard Brant, the man who pleaded guilty in the death of his two-month-old son in the 1990s because of a report from a now-disgraced pathologist, was acquitted by the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
Brant, who originally hails from Moncton, was charged in 1993 with manslaughter in his baby's death the previous year.
He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated assault after testimony from Charles Smith said his son, Dustin, died of Shaken Baby Syndrome.
His conclusions flew in the face of another pathologist who listed pneumonia and respiratory failure as causes of death.
Although Brant maintained he never did anything to intentionally cause Dustin's death, he pleaded guilty in 1995 to the lesser charge and was sentenced to six months after his lawyer Robert Graydon, now an Ontario Court judge, told him Smith was the "God" of his profession.
In the court the defence had requested that Brant be acquitted and the Crown agreed that there had been a miscarriage of justice.
Speaking to CTV's John Musselman, Brant said the outcome was a huge relief.
"A lot of weight is off my shoulders," said the 38-year-old. "I am glad the truth finally came out. A lot of people they listened to this professional man who gave his report…and it made everyone doubt what I was saying."
He said he made the decision to plead to aggravated assault after speaking to his then-pregnant wife, who said it would be a better decision in order to ensure he could spend time with his other child.
As for what Brant thinks of Smith now, he said: "I can't say my thoughts on TV, they're not good."
With files from The Canadian Press