Grieving mum pestered by her ex on day her newborn baby died

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AN ex-boyfriend continued his campaign of pestering his ex-partner on the day her newborn baby died.

Thomas Murray was banned from getting in touch with Samantha Bennett or attending her Washington home, when he was given a restraining order for beating her up last summer.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, in the weeks before the pregnant mum gave birth, Murray banged on her door for almost five hours during one overnight visit in February, and hounded her with 52 telephone calls in the space of three hours a few days later.

The victim told police before the birth of her son: “I am heavily pregnant with a poorly baby and this has left me really shaken up, which agitated the baby.

“I have had to lie down to calm down.

“I just want him to leave me alone.”

The court heard the couple’s baby was born and died on March 4.

Despite the nightmare Miss Bennett was already enduring, Murray continued with the unwanted calls and even turned up at her mum’s home within hours of the tragedy.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court: “She was going through a very traumatic time, having lost her baby that morning.

“The contact was causing her a lot of stress, which she did not need at that point, and simply wanted him to leave her alone.”

Judge John Milford, QC, said there was no evidence Murray’s behaviour caused or contributed to the death of his baby.

The judge said: “I am not suggesting that.

“I am suggesting that telephoning her when she would have been in a such a fragile psychological state, having just lost a child, is bound to have caused some psychological harm.

“I am not for one minute suggesting he has contributed to the death of the child.”

Andrew Walker, defending, said the couple’s relationship was not “straightforward” and Miss Bennett is due to ask magistrates to remove the restraining order she has in place.

Mr Walker added: “The contact that was made was because he wanted to speak to her, he wasn’t receiving any information about what had happened to the child.

“One can understand, from his perspective, why he would want to speak to his former partner to find out what had happened, no-one was telling him.

“He wasn’t making contact so he could harass her or pester her, or intimidate her or threaten her.

“It has to be looked at in the context of a man who wanted to know what happened to the child.”

Judge Milford adjourned the case so Murray, 26, who has been in custody since March 4, can be assessed for a community alcohol treatment programme.

Murray, of no fixed address, had pleaded guilty to four charges of acting in breach of a restraining order.

He has now been granted bail.