Pregnant people

The cases identified here provide examples of the way judicial officers have dealt with some of the issues raised in the context statement.

Click on the citation to be directed to a summary of the case in the Case Database.

  • Ahmu v The Queen; DPP v Ahmu [2014] NSWCCA 312 (15 December 2014) – New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal
    Adams J at [62]: ‘The judge noted that, at the time of the offences, the complainant was eight weeks pregnant, which added to the objective seriousness of the offences, committed in the context of an ongoing, relatively violent domestic relationship’.
  • Hiron v The Queen [2007] NSWCCA 336 (7 December 2007) – New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal
    Price J at [35]: ‘The applicant’s offending was compendiously summarised by the Judge as follows. ‘The offences, or some of them, involved the actual use of a weapon, namely a tyre lever. The offences involved gratuitous cruelty, punching and kicking his domestic partner 23 weeks pregnant, and threatening her. The offences were committed while the prisoner was on conditional liberty, that is on parole. He abused a position of trust as a partner of the victim and father of their child and expected child. The victim was vulnerable in the sense that she was a pregnant female of much smaller build totally under the domination of the prisoner’.
  • Police v Dolan [2010] SASC 341 (9 December 2010) – Supreme Court of South Australia
    Gray J at [18]: ‘I consider that the Magistrate failed to have sufficient regard to the fact that this was an act of domestic violence to a young pregnant woman. The fact that the defendant was angry did not justify or excuse in any way the violence perpetrated. He struck his young female partner in circumstances which put her health, and that of the child that she was carrying, in jeopardy. His victim was entitled to be treated with patience and respect, not the physical abuse that she received. I consider that the Magistrate was in error in failing to have proper regard to this factor. Although the defendant was not charged with an aggravated assault on the basis of his domestic relationship, this was still a relevant factor to be considered’.
  • Byrnes v The Queen [2015] VSCA 341 (10 December 2015) – Victorian Court of Appeal

    Kaye JA at [22]-[23]: ‘The applicant’s offending had a number of very serious characteristics. As the respondent has pointed out, it was premeditated, and the applicant had clearly prepared for it. The victim was vulnerable. She was carrying the applicant’s baby. The applicant took advantage of his greater strength, and the fact that he had a weapon, to overwhelm her. The threat to abort the baby was, as the judge correctly said, a ‘most ugly’ aspect of the false imprisonment. The whole experience, to which the applicant subjected her, must have been extraordinarily terrifying. She was justifiably in grave fear for her own life and that of her baby. While the imprisonment did not extend for hours or days, it lasted for over one hour, during the whole of which the applicant terrorised his victim.

    ‘In those circumstances, the offending by the applicant, comprising charge 1, called for a stern sentence. In such a case, involving wanton domestic violence, general deterrence, specific deterrence, and denunciation were important considerations. While the judge accepted that the applicant’s psychological condition moderated the weight to be given to those considerations, nevertheless, they rightly remained important factors in the determination of the applicant’s sentence’.
  • Morgan v Kazandzis [2010] WASC 377 (10 December 2010) – Supreme Court of Western Australia
    EM Heenan J at [69]: ‘The victim of the assaults was particularly vulnerable, being in a prior relationship with the appellant and being pregnant at the time of both assaults’.