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Parents cleared over baby's death

A young couple has walked free from court after being cleared of killing their four-month-old son who was suffering from rickets.

Rohan Wray, 22, and Chana Al-Alas, 19, of Islington, north London, fell under suspicion when baby Jayden died suddenly two years ago.

But, following a six-week trial at the Old Bailey, charges of murder and causing or allowing his death were dropped. A jury returned not guilty verdicts on the direction of the judge after prosecutors withdrew the charges.

The couple, who were 16 and 19 when Jayden was born, hugged and kissed when they learned that their ordeal was over.

The court heard that Jayden died from brain damage and swelling but nearly 60 medical, professional and expert witnesses were unable to agree the cause.

The prosecution said the brain damage could only have been caused by Jayden having been shaken or his head having been hit against something. But the defence said after the baby's death it was discovered he had rickets owing to an undiagnosed vitamin D deficiency in his mother.

The rickets would have caused him to have weak bones, including a weak skull, and could have caused a series of fractures. The medical condition was also blamed for complications which led to his death.

Barristers for the couple argued that they had been loving parents, taking Jayden to see doctors and to hospital when worried about his health but nothing was found to be wrong with him.

Judge Stephen Kramer said it was unsafe to let the case go before the jury.

Sally O'Neill QC, defending Wray, told jurors the couple had been "pre-judged" by doctors and police, but no-one had known how ill Jayden was.

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