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Drinking while pregnant 'could become a crime'

Drinking during pregnancy could become a criminal offence, women's charities have said.

A council in the North West of England is seeking criminal injuries compensation for a six-year-old girl with ''growth retardation'' caused by her mother's alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

If the Court of Appeal agrees that the woman committed a crime it could pave the way for pregnant women's behaviour to be criminalised, according to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (bpas) and Birthrights.

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Appeal court reserves judgement in pregnancy 'crime' case

The Court of Appeal has reserved its judgment on whether a pregnant woman committed "a crime of violence" against her child when she drank a "grossly excessive" amount of alcohol while pregnant.

After a day-long hearing Lord Dyson, the Master of the Rolls, sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Lady Justice King, said the court would take time to consider its decision.

Lawyers for child "CP", who cannot be named for legal reasons, asked three judges to rule in a test case that the girl, now aged seven, is entitled to compensation after being born with an alcohol-related disorder.

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