Editor’s Note: This Associated Press news item was published six years after Louise Woodward’s conviction for second degree murder. Miss Woodward eventually became a lawyer, which is the perfect storybook ending to her sordid tale. One wonders what sort of crime would disqualify a person from becoming a lawyer. Perhaps the answer lies in the short excerpt from an unrelated news story that follows. You should always keep your sense of irony intact.

Former au pair starts work as lawyer

Louise Woodward was convicted in baby’s death in 1995

Associated Press

LONDON, Jan. 22, 2004  Former au pair Louise Woodward started working as a lawyer Monday, more than six years after she was convicted of killing a baby while working in Massachusetts.

Woodward, 25, earned a law degree after returning to England and was hired by the firm North Ainley Halliwell in Oldham, in northwest England, senior partner John Ainley said.

“Louise worked hard to get a law degree and to pass her professional exams,” Ainley said. “She is bright, motivated and was chosen to work for us on merit.”

He said the firm practices general law and Woodward has a two-year training contract. “She will work in a variety of fields, although I know she wants to specialize in commercial law eventually,” Ainley said.

Woodward was convicted in November 1997 of second-degree murder in the death of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen of Newton, Mass. Her conviction later was reduced to manslaughter, and Woodward was freed on time served: 279 days. Her case was intensively covered in Britain and America.

“I hope her past will not be held against her,” Ainley said. “She has worked hard to start a career in law and we feel she deserves that chance.”

The Law Society, the legal profession’s governing body in the U.K., gave Woodward permission to practice last week.

This excerpted item appeared in the same newspaper on the same day as the story above: (Some things are just too good to be true.)

NEW HAVEN, Jan. 22, 2004 — ... He would not discuss the case, but told the Hartford Courant: “Everyone has to hold their hand up and tell the truth  everyone except the lawyers.”

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