Thursday, 18 June 2009

Elizabeth Tevenan

Tragedy of the Catholic mother who suffocated her newborn baby out of shame.

A devout Roman Catholic who had not known she was pregnant killed her son within moments of giving birth alone.
Elizabeth Tevenan then bled to death after she was found by her mother in the bathroom of their home, an inquest heard yesterday.
The 30-year-old had been taking painkillers for acute back pain and had even looked on the NHS Direct website for information about ulcers and stomach cancer two days before she gave birth on November 13 last year.

Miss Tevenan's mother Bridget discovered her haemorrhaging in the bathroom of their home in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, and called an ambulance.
The child's body was discovered beneath towels and a dressing gown an hour later by police officers who were alerted by doctors who had examined Miss Tevenan.
The inquest was told that she stuffed toilet tissue into her baby's mouth and pinched his nose to stop him breathing. Miss Tevenan's mother told the inquest that she had raised her daughter strictly within the Roman Catholic faith.
'She never spoke to me about sex. She was brought up with strict guidelines,' her statement to the inquest said.
Work colleague Debbie Jones told the inquest that Miss Tevenan had said she could 'never tell her father' if she became pregnant.
Dr James Lucas, a paediatric pathologist at Warwick Hospital where the baby and his mother were taken, told the inquest that he had been delivered at 37 weeks or more into the pregnancy.
'The baby was live born with expanded lungs but would only have taken a few breaths before death occurred,' he said.
Miss Tevenan, an office worker, was confirmed dead on arrival at Warwick Hospital. She had died of blood loss as a result of haemorrhaging.
The baby, who was given the name Nicholas Patrick, had weighed 6lb 13oz. His father, Noel Bannister, who lives in Cambridgeshire, was traced by police through DNA samples.
Mrs Tevenan, 58, and her 70-year-old husband Patrick did not attend the inquest at Warwickshire Coroner's Court in Leamington Spa.

Coroner Sean McGovern recorded that Miss Tevenan had died of natural causes but said she had unlawfully killed her son.
'I am entirely satisfied that Elizabeth was unaware of her pregnancy,' he said. 'If she had been aware of this when her waters broke, earlier medical intervention could have prevented her death.
'I am satisfied that her baby was born alive but the deliberate pushing of tissue paper into his throat caused asphyxia.'
He concluded that Elizabeth unlawfully killed her baby 'in a state of panic'.

Tragic, awful and so sad.

How often do we see religious brainwashing overcoming common sense? Banish religion, I say, it is the cause of all that is wrong with the world.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this one. It's what all our wars are about.

Art with Liz said...

Oh I am so 100% behind you on this one! Great portrait.