Police report pregnant woman to social services over half-decorated home

Daily Mail
10.11.2009
By Daily Mail Reporter

A pregnant woman who invited a policewoman into her half- decorated home ended up being reported to social workers for being a potentially unfit mother.

Mary Cooke, 27, was visited by police after she called 999 to report that she had nearly been run down by a speeding car.

The officer did not mention that she was unhappy about the state of Mrs Cooke’s rented house, but after leaving wrote a memo to the social services.

Days later, Mrs Cooke received a letter from Staffordshire County Council, warning her of a potential ‘referral’ for her unborn child. In addition, the council contacted her midwife.

Last night, Mrs Cooke, a housewife who is 12 weeks’ pregnant with her first child, said: ‘The letter made me feel sick. I believe someone was judging me for decorating the house and I can’t believe it. I’m in the first stages of pregnancy. I’d never dream of bringing a child home to a house being decorated.

‘I told the policewoman we are moving in February. We’ve been renting privately and we had started decorating, then a bigger house came up for rent and we decided to take it.

‘But we thought it was only right to finish off what we’d started for the next people who come here.’

Mrs Cooke, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, added: ‘They contacted my midwife behind my back, but apparently she said she had no worries.

‘Now they’ve accepted that the policewoman may have been a little over zealous, so none of this will go against me in the future. They’ve decided to let the matter rest.

‘It seems that the police and social services go from one extreme to another, they either do nothing and a little child dies or they go completely over the top.’

Mrs Cooke was visited by police after ringing to say that she had nearly been run over by a car that went through a red light. During the conversation she told the policewoman she was pregnant.

Mrs Cooke said the officer spent five minutes in the hall and living room of her semi-detached home and would have seen the stripped walls and floors.

She added: ‘I know the wallpaper is off the walls and there were a couple of nails lying around, but the policewoman didn’t say anything while she was here. Other expectant couples should be warned: be careful when you let police officers into their homes, because they can be judging you.’

The letter was sent from the council’s children’s services first response service, in Stafford. It says a referral regarding the unborn child had been made by police.

Full article

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