A doctor said to hold a minority view on shaken baby syndrome has told a disciplinary panel that "many more" clinicians privately agree with her.

Dr Waney Squier is accused of bias while acting as an expert witness in a number of alleged shaken baby death cases.

The General Medical Council alleges Dr Squier failed to be objective because of her "preconceived and blinkered approach" and that her conduct at various civil and criminal proceedings was irresponsible, deliberately misleading and dishonest.

A hearing in Manchester is focusing on six cases in which the consultant neuropathologist, based at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital, provided evidence from 2008 to 2010, including the deaths of four babies and a 19-month child.

In each case Dr Squier, 67, took the view that brain damage caused was not due to inflicted injuries, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) panel has been told, and that her views on shaken baby syndrome were in contrast to the opinions of the majority of experts in the field who argue the so-called triad - swelling of the brain, bleeding between the skull and brain and bleeding in the retina - is a strong indicator of trauma, say the GMC.

Whereas, the GMC adds, Dr Squier disagrees unless there is other evidence of external or internal injury.

Today Dr Squier started her evidence in defence of various charges of misconduct, which she denies.

She explained to the panel she had previously gone along with accepted thought on the syndrome until about 2000 when she became aware of a study by Dr Jennian Geddes of babies thought to have died from non-accidental head injuries.

Dr Squier said: "She was finding that these babies did not have the evidence of mechanical disruption of nerve fibres in the brain.

"If these babies did not have mechanical disruption maybe they had not had any trauma at all."

She said that such disruption would cause immediate loss of consciousness but the study suggested the babies may have experienced a lucid interval prior to death.

At that point she decided to go back and re-read all the evidence on the subject, she said.

She said: "It was to my shame that I had just been accepting what I was told. When I read the underlying literature I realised that the science was just not there and I think I had been making the wrong diagnosis."

Dr Squier said shaken baby syndrome was "extremely unusual" because she said giving it a name suggested there was a cause.

Her barrister, Sir Robert Francis QC, asked: "Do you accept the suggestion that your view is a minority one?"

She replied: "Yes I do."

The doctor said she had been invited to meetings worldwide which had been sponsored by people who were "really dyed-in-the wool believers of shaken baby syndrome".

The panel was told she had given evidence in between 150 and 200 cases since the mid-1990s involving either medical negligence or cause of deaths in early months and years of life.

She confirmed that she had known from her first court case what the duties of an expert witness were when called to give evidence.

Confirming she was aware that a witness must do their best to ensure anything they sign was not false or misleading, she said: "This would have been a basic principle of any report I wrote out in my working life."

When opening the case, Tom Kark QC, for the GMC, told the panel a question they would have to answer was whether Squier's opinions had a "significant effect" upon the various court proceedings.

He submitted an inference could be properly drawn that the way she presented her written and oral evidence was "deliberately misleading".

He said among those misled would have been the families and other parties to the litigation - the lawyers, the experts and the judges.

Among the allegations she faces is that she provided expert opinion outside her field of expertise and she failed to discharge her duties as an expert by not working within the limits of her competence, not being objective and unbiased, and not paying due regard to the views of other experts.

Her actions and omissions were said to be misleading, irresponsible, deliberately misleading, dishonest and likely to bring the reputation of the medical profession into disrepute.

The hearing, which is scheduled to last until next March, continues.