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Joby Rowe

Convicted of child homicide. Nine year prison sentence.

Did he really kill his 3 month old baby daughter Alanah?

The Crime

Rowe was convicted of shaking his three month old baby daughter Alanah to death.

The Evidence

No witness.

No history of violence or abuse.

No external injuries to indicate abuse.

Joby Rowe was convicted entirely based on expert testimony.


Doctors testified that the brain injuries suffered by baby Alanah could only have been caused by shaking.  As Joby was the last person taking care of her, they automatically concluded that he must have shaken her.

The Problem with the Conviction: there is NO science linking those brain injuries to shaking. The link between specific brain injuries and shaking is an unsubstantiated belief that is common amongst a section of the medical community. 


I published a peer reviewed article Is there an evidentiary basis for shaken baby syndrome? The case of Joby Rowe in the Australian Journal of Forensic Science.

My paper points to the total lack of any scientific or evidentiary basis for linking the brain injuries suffered by Alanah to shaking, or to any form of abuse.  

Should we be convicting people on the basis of unsubstantiated beliefs? 

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