Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Video: No charges for woman who smacked baby bump with hammer

Police: Just some harmless fetus hammering.

Police: Just some harmless fetus hammering.

When Sean Hanlon, the now-ex husband of a very pregnant Heather Thorpe, showed police this video of her hitting her unborn child with a claw hammer, police in Birmingham, England, decided that no crime had been committed and declined to press charges — or even investigate.

Hanlon said that he was filming his expectant wife in October 2012 with his phone when she picked up a hammer and said, “‘My baby’s hard as anything — just watch this.” On the video she is shown pulling up her shirt to reveal her belly, and hitting her belly twice with the hammer. Hanlon also reportedly told police that she had punched herself in the abdomen too, to make the baby “come out.” Hanlon said that the child, born weeks later and named Jonathon, is fine, but that at the time when he expressed shock, Thorpe told him to “stop overreacting.”

After the couple split, and Thorpe went to police with reports of domestic violence, Hanlon retaliated by showing them this video.

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