I didn’t realise I was pregnant but gave birth to stillborn baby in prison

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Holding his stomach in agony, Lewis Powell shouted ‘I think I’m dying’ and begged the prison staff to help him.

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In fact, 31-year-old, an inmate at Styles Prison in Cheshire, was in labor – and tragically lost baby girl Brooke, who was born prematurely, weighing just 2.5 pounds in June 2020.

Louise Powell says she begged for help and was in agonycredit: bbc
The baby was born at Styles Prison in Cheshire

The baby was born at Styles Prison in Cheshire

Now Louise, who didn’t know she was pregnant at the time and didn’t remember having penetrative sex, claims she was not seen by medical staff until two hours after she began complaining of pain, and believes her. that her child could have been saved prior intervention.


Speaking on tonight’s Newsnight, she tells Katie Razzle: “Brook could have been here. His skin was perfect. She was a perfect child. He died by mistake.

“Clearly they can’t take care of people. They do not take into account the feelings of the people. You are a number, not a person.

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“She must be here with me. It’s hard to look back and know she’s not with me, and it’s taken away from me, of no choice of my own. I’ve never been heard.”

Lewis was sentenced in March 2020 to eight months for common assault, criminal damage and using threatening words or behavior.

Upon arriving at Styles Prison, she was asked if she was pregnant and told the staff that she was not.

Lewis believed there was no chance of her becoming pregnant because she is homosexual, and she had no recollection of any consensually entered sex in the months before her sentencing.

Police later launched an investigation into a suspected assault, but Lewis chose not to charge.

He claims that prison staff never asked about the pregnancy again, although his lawyer says prison workers knew Lewis had not had a period of four to five months.

Begged for an ambulance and said ‘I will die’

On June 18, 2020, at around 5 pm, Lewis started complaining of severe pain. By 6 p.m., it was peaking, and an hour later his cellmate informed prison officials that Lewis was bleeding with severe convulsions.

An officer came to see her and remarked that Louise seemed to be six months pregnant, Lewis recalls.

The officer contacted the onsite medical team on two occasions over the next hour raising concerns about a possible pregnancy, but no health care professional is believed to have come to see her.

By 8 p.m., Lewis was in such severe pain that he begged for an ambulance.

Lewis said: “I was in agony, I was crying, I was bent over. For me, I was dying.

“I said [the prison officer], I need an ambulance. She told me to go back upstairs and lie on the bed, I will call the health team again. I couldn’t make it to my bed.

“I climbed the stairs, fell in pain. I reached the top of the stairs, fell again. Obviously these were contractions that were coming on fast.”

I was in agony, I was crying, I was bowing.

Lewis Powell

The official radioed the health service for the third time but no doctor arrived.

Lewis says that a prison officer doing a routine checkup came and saw her condition, but he continued his affair, saying that she would return later.

Just after 9 p.m. — more than two hours after employees were alerted — Lewis’s cellmate pressed the emergency bell in his cell.

Lewis says a nurse finally arrived: “When the baby was already out, half out”.

“He put me on the floor and tried to get the rest of the kid out,” she says.

“I needed to stand up because the baby girl was still with her head glued down, she was hooked.”

Louise recalls that when her baby was born, she was taken to the medical staff, and she was told she was having a baby girl.

Later when she reached the hospital, she was told that her child had not survived.

Lewis told Newsnight: “I don’t blame anyone for not knowing that I was pregnant, because I wasn’t at the time. But the fact that no one came to see me, the fact that someone told me Didn’t take to see health care… Sharp stomach pain could have been anything.

“As for me, I remember I told them I think I’m dying. I feel like I’m dying. I need an ambulance. So I think there’s a lot more that can be done.” Was.”

Newsnight believes that when staff eventually attempted to call an ambulance, the prison radio system failed, causing further delays.

Tragedy ‘shouldn’t have happened’

Lewis claims that no one at Styles Prison did CPR or tried to revive the child: “As soon as the ambulance got there, they pulled the child out of the prison staff, the ambulance staff asked, ‘Did anyone Have you tried CPR?’

“They were just shocked — no. The ambulance tried CPR, apparently by then it was too late.”

Lewis’ attorney Jane Ryan said: “It was a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. What we do know is that baby Brooke was premature, but she was healthy, and the evidence suggests that if Lewis did well Had she been taken to the hospital, Brooke could have survived – she could have survived.

“It’s huge and devastating for Lewis to hear this. And it’s also a matter of concern to the public that this has happened again.”

A spokesman for the prison service said: “This was a very sad and disturbing case and our thoughts are with all those affected.

“While our view is that detention should be a last resort for the majority of women, we have made significant reforms to support female offenders and our new prison locations will give them greater access to education, health care and employment – ​​making them more vulnerable to crime. It will help to turn your back.

“We await the report of the Prison and Probation Ombudsman and will respond accordingly to improve care for pregnant women and mothers in prison.”

A spokesperson for Spectrum Community Health CIC said: “We extend our deepest condolences to Ms. Powell for what she has experienced.

“The Spectrum Community Health CIC has fully cooperated with the independent investigation into this matter which was carried out by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

“Since the investigation report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is yet to be published, we are unable to provide any further comment.”

Watch the full interview on Newsnight, tonight, 22:30, BBC Two or later on BBC iPlayer.

Lewis believes her child could have been saved

Lewis believes her child could have been savedcredit: BBC Newsnight
Inside the Style Prison Where Lewis Was Jail

Inside the Style Prison Where Lewis Was Jailcredit: Corbis – Getty

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