Catholic Medical Quarterly Volume 69(3) August 2019

Hoc Tempore:
Catholics Are Needed In Healthcare!

Dr Adrian Treloar

4.  A double murder, the rights of the unborn child and the offence of Child Destruction

We looked on in horror recently at the brutal murder of Kelly Mary Fauvrelle: a pregnant woman who was stabbed to death in London [7]. Paramedics (heroically and very commendably) delivered her baby boy at the scene. Ms Fauvrelle, who worked at Croydon Delivery Office, was eight months' pregnant when she was killed at her home in the early hours of Saturday 29th June. Sadly, having fought for his life her baby son Riley died on the 3rd July. It appears almost certain that Riley was killed by the same attack that murdered his mother. We would expect therefore to see two counts of murder laid against the assailant. This was a double murder. Rightly, the Metropolitan Police recognised that and as a result stated that they were investigating a “double homicide”. [8] We are therefore surprised that when a man was charged with the murder of Kelly, he received the lesser charge of manslaughter with respect to baby Riley.

Very disturbingly, Anthony Porter points out in this issue [page 25] that intrauterine deaths caused by road traffic accidents are not being considered in prosecutions for Road Traffic Accidents. Mr Porter points out that in UK law, unborn children are being denied their rightful legal status as a person - which cannot be acceptable. Under the Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 [9] anyone who “acts with intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, by any wilful act causes a child to die before it has an existence independent of its mother, shall be guilty of felony, to wit, of child destruction, and shall be liable on conviction thereof on indictment to penal servitude for life:” Section 2 of the Act makes it clear that the offence of Child Destruction can be brought when a person is tried “for the murder or manslaughter of any child, or for infanticide”. And yet charges are almost never brought under that Act. It is “'Too hard to convict people of harming unborn babies'” [10]. Only 16 people were convicted in 11 years between 2004 and 2015.


  1. Kelly Mary Fauvrelle: Pregnant stabbing victim's baby dies. BBC news 3rd July 2019. uk-england-london-48851364 .
  2. Metropolitan Police. CCTV appeal to trace man re Croydon double homicide. 3rd July 2019.­cctv-near-thornton-heath-murder-scene-374851
  3. Infant Life (Preservation) Act 1929 – (1929)
  4. Collins K. 'Too hard to convict people of harming unborn babies' BBC news 17 Apr 2015. article/32332040/too-hard-to-convict-people-of-harming-unborn­babies