Drinking while pregnant ‘not a criminal offence’

Still taken from a video feed of Lord Justice Treacy in the Court of Appeal. Picture: PA

Still taken from a video feed of Lord Justice Treacy in the Court of Appeal. Picture: PA

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A YOUNG child is not entitled to criminal injuries compensation after her mother drank excessively while pregnant, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Three appeal judges unanimously ruled: “The central reason is that we have held that a mother who is pregnant and who drinks to excess despite knowledge of the potential harmful consequence to the child of doing so is not guilty of a criminal offence under our law if her child is subsequently born damaged as a result.”

The ruling was a blow to a local authority which had fought the compensation battle on behalf of CP, now aged seven, who suffers with learning, development, memory and behaviour problems.

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