Lawyers plan to take a test case to the Court of Appeal over claims that children harmed in the womb by their mother's drinking should receive compensation as victims of crime Harming an unborn child by consuming alcohol during pregnancy could be classified as a crime if an unusual legal challenge succeeds.
A council is planning to go to the Court of Appeal in an attempt to secure criminal injuries compensation for a six-year-old girl who was born with foetal alcohol spectrum disorder as a result of her mother’s drinking while she was in the womb.
A tribunal ruled in 2011 that the unnamed child had sustained personal injury “directly attributable to a crime of violence” and so was eligible for a payout.
Her mother, who drank “grossly excessive quantities of alcohol” during her pregnancy, was never convicted of any offence.
But she was alleged to have maliciously administered poison so as to endanger life or inflict grievous bodily harm, a crime under section 23 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.