entertainment

Outrage over killer nanny pregnancy

A British nanny jailed for killing a baby in her care 16 years ago is now pregnant.

Louise Woodward was only 19 when she was found guilty of murdering 8-month-old Matthew Eappen in his home in Boston in the US in 1997. The trial provoked outrage as Woodward sat stoney-faced during the trial and showed no remorse.

Now that she is expecting a child of her own, emotions are once again stirring.

Matthew’s aunt Mary Wong has spoken out saying: “For the sake of her own child I hope she is a better parent. For the sake of her family I hope her parenting skills have come a long way… I think that she needs to have parenting skills and support for her baby.”

She added: “I hope no harm comes to the child.”

Woodward was sentenced to 15 years in jail but was released after 279 days when she won an appeal to reduce her conviction to involuntary manslaughter. A jury initially convicted her of second-degree murder  after jurors agreed with prosecutors and medical experts that Matthew died of Shaken Baby Syndrome, or SBS.

Woodward was sentenced to 15 years but spent just 279 days in prison after a judge agreed to reduce her conviction to involuntary manslaughter.

She is now 35, married and looking forward to becoming a mother. Woodward has settled in Bridgnorth in the UK and says she's been haunted by her past and has only ever wanted to be free to enjoy her future. If her claims of innocence are correct then she should be free to do that, however doubt still lingers over the death of little Matthew.

Husband Antony Elkes is fully supportive of his wife. The two were married this year. They live a low-key life are trying to keep it that way. They know the attention that is coming there way now she is pregnant.

The Daily Mail quotes a friend as saying, "Antony and Louise are really happy about being pregnant. Bridgnorth is a small town and Louise is quite open about it, although when I do see her out and about she is often wearing a poncho or baggy clothes. It’s as if she’s trying not to draw attention to the fact she’s pregnant. People think that it’s quite a big deal, given Louise’s past."

The former nanny hasn't responded to interview requests now that her pregnancy has been revealed but has previously stated, "We would love to have a family. We both want that. I know that it is all very quick, but it just feels right for both of us."

She is also very aware of the scrutiny. "Of course, I know that there are some people out there just waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things."

Do people have a right to comment on the fact she is pregnant?