News: 2 babies' deaths during home births have been declared 'major crimes.'

A major police task force investigation is underway.


A coronial inquest has heard that home birth advocate Lisa Barrett was due to be questioned about her role in the deaths of three babies who died during home births in South Australia when she flew to Perth to assist in the birth of twins in July 2011.

One of the twin boys died.

In an inquest into the deaths of three homebirth babies that opened in WA yesterday the counsel assisting WA Coroner Sarah Linton, said that Lisa Barrett assisted in the birth of one of the babies known as Baby P.

Baby P’s death was at first considered a stillbirth and so was not referred to the coroner.

However a doctor has said that if he had been born in hospital his heart may have responded more rapidly, and he may have survived.

Lisa Barrett will give evidence to the inquest today via video link about her role in Baby P’s birth.

The Australian reports that the women who hired Barrett knew she was not a registered midwife but believed her to be fully qualified.

Previously, Mamamia wrote…

A major police task force investigation in South Australia into the deaths of five newborn babies linked to home birth midwife Lisa Barrett is underway.

According to The Advertiser, two of the babies’ deaths have been declared major crimes, with detectives considering manslaughter charges.

A Coronial Inquest examined the death of three babies in home births attended by Lisa Barrett: Tate Spencer-Koch in July 2007, Jahli Hobbs in April 2009 and of Tully Kavanagh in October 2011.

The death of an unidentified baby in Perth in July 2011, during a home birth attended by Ms Barrett was also scrutinised  during the inquest, Adelaide Now reports.


The new task force has uncovered evidence that several of the witnesses who testified were allegedly involved in committing perjury, concealing evidence and withholding evidence from the inquest, Adelaide Now reports.

The police task force investigation is now also reportedly examining a fifth home birth death involving a baby boy, who has not been named, in December 2012. South Australian police released a statement last night saying the death of this baby and that of Tully Kavanagh have been declared major crimes.

When approached by the Sunday Mail last week, Major Crime officer-in-charge Detective Superintendent Des Bray  said the task force’s “investigations into the deaths is progressing well.’’ He declined to elaborate on any detail surrounding  the deaths or the other offences being investigated, Adelaide Now reports.

Barrett, who moved to Australia with her family in 2002 from the UK, writes on her website “Homebirth: A Midwife Mutiny”: “I am experienced in all types of birth and this includes birthing at home with babies in a breech position, twins and birth after caesarean.Anyone who believes they want and need this service should be entitled to get it.”

Mamamia has  written in detail about Lisa Barrett’s involvement in the deaths of four babies, plus a 2012 coroner’s finding that all four of those deaths “could and should have been prevented’. You can read thapost here.

Anyone with information about breaches of the prohibition order, unlawful conduct relating to the investigation or other births are urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.