Distraught dad is cleared of threatening midwives

The incident happened at Whittingehame House. File picture: Denis Straughan
The incident happened at Whittingehame House. File picture: Denis Straughan
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A DAD who believed his newborn son had died during a home birth has been cleared of threatening two midwives.

Kevin Martin was in a distressed state when the two nurses arrived at his home more than two hours after he had called them out to attend to his heavily pregnant wife, a court heard.

The dad-of-four shouted at the health professionals to “hurry up” as the baby boy was in a dangerous breach position and he believed his son had died during the home delivery at Whittingehame House, near Haddington, in February 2014.

The “agitated” father-of-four was said to have threatened the medics with violence and produced a knife during the incident.

But the case against the 44-year-old at Edinburgh Sheriff Court collapsed after just half an hour yesterday.

The court was told Martin had phoned for a midwife to attend his home at around 5.30am on February 9, 2014, after his wife’s contractions had peaked at every two minutes.

But following a mix-up with the on-call midwives, Martin was forced to wait for around half an hour before he knew midwives were on their way.

The two health professionals then eventually arrived at his rural home around 7.45am to find an “angry” Martin confronting them from his upstairs window.

The nurses were then let in to the property to find Mrs Martin in the bath and the baby boy being born in a breach position.

The midwives managed to save the child’s life after delivering him safely despite one midwife claiming Martin’s behaviour had left them “frightened”.

NHS Lothian midwife Andrea Taylor, 49, told the court she had received a call at her home at around 6am and had subsequently met up with a second nurse to travel to Martin’s home together.

Ms Taylor said: “When we arrived there was a man at the upstairs window – I saw him as I was getting my equipment out of the car.”

Ms Taylor added she had felt “frightened” due to Martin’s demeanour and that, after the baby was born safely, he had returned from the kitchen with a knife to help cut the umbilical cord.

But when pushed by defending solicitor Robbie Burnett, Ms Taylor admitted she “wasn’t surprised he was upset” by the circumstances, but did say Martin was “questioning us, and got in our way”.

Following Ms Taylor’s evidence, depute fiscal Alex Piper said the Crown was no longer seeking a conviction and Sheriff Frank Crowe told Martin he was a free to leave.

Martin had denied behaving in a threatening manner at Whittingehame House, Haddington, East Lothian, on February 9, 2014.

newsen@edinburghnews.com