A REPORT from expert witness Dr Dewi Evans in an unrelated civil case was described as “worthless” by a senior judge, jurors in the trial of Lucy Letby have heard.

Retired consultant paediatrician Dr Evans has been called by the prosecution to give his opinions as to why a number of babies suffered collapses at the Countess of Chester’s neo-natal unit.

On Thursday, Manchester Crown Court was told Dr Evans was criticised over his involvement in an application for permission to appeal against a care order involving two children – in a case unconnected to Letby.

Dr Evans supported the parents’ desire to have increased access to the children who were being cared for by their grandparents, the court heard.

Refusing permission last December, Court of Appeal judge Lord Justice Jackson said Dr Evans’ report was “worthless” and “makes no effort to provide a balanced opinion”.

He went on: “He either knows what his professional colleagues have concluded and disregards it or he has not taken steps to inform himself of their views.

“Either approach amounts to a breach of proper professional conduct.

“No attempt has been made to engage with the full range of medical information or the powerful contradictory indicators.

“Instead the report has the hallmarks of an exercise in ‘working out an explanation’ that exculpates the applicants.

“It ends with tendentious and partisan expressions of opinion that are outside Dr Evans’ professional competence and have no place in a reputable expert report.

“For all those reasons, no court would have accepted a report of this quality even if it had been produced at the time of the trial.”

Dr Evans told Ben Myers KC, defending, he had sent a letter to a firm of solicitors on the subject which he said was not intended to be used in an appeal.

He said: “I had no idea it had been sent to the court. I had no idea about this judgment until about two weeks ago.”

Dr Evans said he was “more than happy” to stand by his report.

He said: “This is the first judgment that has gone against me in 30 years.

“I have prepared dozens and dozens of reports for the family court. I’m in huge demand for opinions in the family court because of my track record as a witness.

“This is a one-off for me.”

Asked about the judge’s criticisms, he said: “I think it’s a balanced opinion actually.

“I do object to being called partisan. If you are partisan you don’t survive in the courts for long. My reports are impartial.”

Mr Myers said: “This report was brought to the defence’s attention but not by you. “If we hadn’t known about it and no one had known about it but you, would you have kept it to yourself?”

Dr Evans replied: “I didn’t know about it. If I had known about it, I would’ve informed the court.”

He told Mr Myers this was “cherry-picking of the worst kind”.

Mr Myers went on: “The reference to ‘working out an explanation’, that is precisely what you are doing in this case at various points, isn’t it?”

Dr Evans said: “It is not.”

Letby denies murdering seven babies and attempting to murder 10 others while working as a nurse at the Countess of Chester’s neo-natal unit between June 2015 and June 2016.