Madeleine case reason Edinburgh couple on trial

A lawyer representing an Edinburgh couple charged with causing the death 
of a 16-month toddler in Tenerife claimed the case might never have gone ahead had it not been for Madeleine McCann’s disappearance.

Corinna Reid’s lawyer claimed it was largely the high profile case that led prosecutors to charge her and her former partner Robert Cormack with homicide in connection with the death of her son Aiden.

Speaking outside the court as the trial got under way, Ms Reid’s Madrid-based lawyer, Christian Mesia, said: “Neither Robert or Corinna should be on trial for homicide.

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“Aiden’s death was the result of Robert’s negligence. It wasn’t intended and was a tragic accident.

“They’re being tried on a homicide charge because of the stubbornness of the court and the state prosecutor.

“Missing Madeleine McCann was being flashed up on the television every day the year Aiden died.

“I’m sure that’s played a part in why Corinna is in front of a jury in court this week charged with homicide.”

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Ms Reid, 35, and Mr Cormack, 40, face up to 14 years in jail if convicted of Aiden’s death.

The boy died at the Paraiso Floral Hotel in 2007, in the popular resort of Adeje on the Canary Island.

His death was originally blamed on bronchitis, but after traces of methadone and an anti-depressant were found in his body prosecutors charged the couple.

Spanish detectives asked their Scottish counterparts to arrest his parents at their home in Edinburgh in January 2009 after tests showed traces of the drugs.

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Mr Cormack did not oppose extradition and was sent back to Spain where he was remanded in custody.

Ms Reid fought extradition, but was eventually sent back to Tenerife despite telling Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court that Aiden’s dad had allegedly confessed to leaving drugs around their hotel room within reach of Aiden.

She was freed on bail ahead of the start of the trial but told she must stay on the island.

Leaked documents have since revealed that ex-heroin addict Mr Cormack had allegedly told Spanish judges his son had ingested the drugs accidentally mixed up in a glass of orange juice.

He has since split from Aiden’s mum.

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Speaking last month, Ms Reid protested her innocence. She said: “I am not guilty.

“I thought my son had died of natural causes until Robert told me about the glass of juice after the results of the lab tests were known. It was a complete shock.

“This is all a nightmare. How can they want me to go to prison for 14 years for something I knew absolutely nothing about?”

Lawyer Mr Mesia has claimed in the past: “The father claims he opened 
the boy’s mouth and saw that there was no trace of any of the liquid in his mouth.

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“But instead of calling a doctor or rushing the infant to hospital he just washed and changed the lad, cleaned up the mess and said nothing about the incident.

“The first Corinna heard about this was seven months later when the results of the lab tests came through.

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any negligence or irresponsible behaviour on Corinna’s part.”

The case continues.