023 9238 1114

Out of hours 08080 333363
Wednesday, 02 February 2022 12:10

Pregnancy in prison

Rate this item
(0 votes)

In the past three years, two babies born inside English prisons have died. In September 2019, a woman, now known as Ms A, gave birth alone in her cell at HMP Bronzefield and the baby died. In July 2020, a baby was stillborn at HMP Styal. Prison will never be a safe place for pregnant women, so why are our courts still sending them there?

Geraldine Brown, Maria Garcia de Frutos and I set about trying to answer that question. Our research into pregnancy in English prisons (there are no women’s prisons in Wales), published this week, has convinced me that imprisoning pregnant women is disproportionate, cruel and simply unnecessary.

Most of the 22 women who responded to our survey were in prison because they had been recalled by the probation service, which means that at the end of a prison term they were placed under probation supervision for one year, but then breached their probation conditions so were sent back inside. Some of these “breaches” included a missed probation appointment, changing address and shoplifting (in this case, committed by a woman who was 30 weeks pregnant and was homeless, living in a car park – she was returned to prison for 11 weeks).

Two women were in prison on remand, awaiting their trial. The most common offence was shoplifting. Four were there for drug offences. Other offences included fraud, perjury, robbery and affray. Five of the women were sent to prison at a very late stage of pregnancy: three at 36 weeks, one at 35 weeks and one at 30 weeks.

For full article https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/18/babies-die-england-stop-jailing-pregnant-women?utm_source=gazette_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Bar%27s+%27yes%27+to+direct+action+%7c+Magistrates+to+get+powers+to+impose+one-year+jail+terms+%7c+Representing+the+abandoned_01%2f18%2f2022 

Read 236 times Last modified on Wednesday, 02 February 2022 12:18
Contact us via email, call us or drop by. Arrangements can also be made to meet you at a court local to you nationwide and video conferencing facilities are available via your mobile, tablet, laptop or computer.

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - Registration No. 518972
Wessex Solicitors Chambers is the trading name of Wessex Solicitors Chambers Limited
VAT No: 6739730 94

We aim to provide a personal and effective service at all times but problems can arise.  If you are at all concerned please contact us so we can meet to discuss matters.  If we cannot solve the problem then there is a complaints procedure of which a copy is available upon request and is overseen by Howard Barrington-Clark who can be contacted by letter, telephone or personally at the office.  If the matter remains unresolved within 8 weeks or you are not satisfied you can contact the Legal Ombudsman who resolves complaints about legal services. Web address is legalombudsman.org.uk or alternatively 0300 5550333.


We offer a fixed fee of £500 plus VAT for advice and representation on road traffic offences that are dealt with at a Magistrates Court and concluded at the first hearing.

This fee includes;

  • explaining the court procedure so you know what to expect at court and the sentencing options available.
  • considering the evidence including initial disclosure if available
    taking your instructions
  • initial advice in relation to an appeal

Should you require additional services such as taking instructions from a witness, instructing any expert witnesses, these are of course available but at additional cost. Please note that travel to a non local court will incur additional fees.

Criminal Defence Service Logo
The Law Society Criminal Litigation Logo
Wessex Solicitors