April 2021

Leeds mum loses her unborn baby after tot’s vile dad repeatedly rammed pram into her tummy

A Leeds mother lost an unborn baby after her abusive partner repeatedly rammed a child’s buggy into her causing her tummy to crash against an open freezer door.

Amie Upton’s little girl Florrie was “born sleeping” after a brutal and violent attack by the baby’s father Shaun Birchall

Birchall, 28, was jailed for two years after pleading guilty to grievous bodily harm (GBH) on Amie, 34, by repeatedly ramming a child’s pushchair into her.

Mum-of-two Amie was 17 weeks and three days pregnant with Florrie at the time and the attack ruptured her amniotic sac – 12 weeks later Florrie was stillborn.

She said: “I’m sure the attack on me caused the death of Florrie too.

“But when the assault took place Florrie was not classed as a person in the eyes of the law.”

A fetus is currently medically deemed to be a viable baby at 24 weeks but when Florrie was stillborn at 29 weeks and three days, she had passed that period.

Amie has now started a petition to create Florrie’s Law – legislation separates to Abortion Law and changes the way a fetus beyond 24 weeks is perceived in a court.

Sentencing Birchall at Leeds Crown Court, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said the defendant became “extremely angry” during a row with Amie in the kitchen and deliberately pushed a buggy into the back of her legs or her lower back on more than one occasion and knocked her forward so that her abdomen came into contact with the corner of the open freezer door.

The judge said: “She was 17 weeks pregnant at the time and the impact caused the rupture of the amniotic sac.

“There is a considerable difficulty in determining exactly the consequences of that fact.

“It is beyond doubt that the rupture of the amniotic sac would on any view have caused serious consequences to the pregnancy. Whether it is in fact causative of death and, if so, to what degree are questions of very great complexity.

“As I have indicated, it is undoubtedly the case that Miss Upton will believe to her dying day that it was a contributory factor and I accept that she may well be right about that but I can only sentence on evidence, not on feeling, and on evidence of which I have to be sure and the medical evidence is such that, although of course I see that it may well have been a factor, I simply cannot say that I can be certain to the required degree that it was.”

“But I remind myself again that this is not a case of child destruction and it may well be that what Miss Upton has thought and no doubt thought carefully about, about whether there should be a change to the law in that regard, it may well be something that needs to be looked at or would be looked at.

“I express no particular view about that other than to understand entirely why Miss Upton has undertaken the research and gained the support that she has to have the issue looked at.

“But on any view this was serious injury to Miss Upton herself and the consequences of it to Florrie, whether causative of death or not, were themselves of extreme seriousness.”

You can sign the petition here.