Midwife charged with manslaughter after babies die during home birth

Just tragic

Content Editor / March 26 2019

A former midwife from Adelaide has been charged over the deaths of two babies during home births.

Lisa Jane Barrett has pleaded not guilty to the deaths of Tully Kavanagh in 2011, and another baby who died in 2012.

Tully’s mother, Sarah Kerr, testified in court saying that she was in intensive pain as her daughter – who was the second twin – was being born, the Daily Mail reports.



A video was played in court of the traumatic birth. Sarah said she asked the midwife if she should be going to hospital at one point.

“It seemed like things weren't right but I didn't know how,” she said. “I would have gone [to hospital]. That's why I was asking her.”

The midwife eventually went outside, smoked a cigarette and rang the hospital, but an ambulance was not called.

Baby Tully was born in the car and, by the time he reached the hospital, he was not breathing and had no heartbeat.

He was moved to intensive care but died two days later.

The court heard that the second baby who died while Ms Barrett attended the birth had been breech and the mother had health issues which had made it a high-risk birth.

When paramedics arrived, the baby was not breathing and died shortly afterwards.

The trial is continuing.

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.

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