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Midwife charged with manslaughter after five babies died under her care

By Mason White 4:35 PM June 21, 2017
Lisa Barrett
Lisa Barrett
By: Tanya Clark

(Scroll down for video) A midwife was arrested over the deaths of babies who were under her care.

Authorities in Australia, have long tried to stop 50-year-old Lisa Jane Barrett, and others, to promote home births especially for high risk patients.

Sadly, five babies have died after their mothers chose to have home births under the care of Barrett.

It was a long and drawn out investigation as Barrett was uncooperative with police. However, now, police were able to gather enough evidence to charge Barrett with manslaughter in the death of two children.

Barrett was born in Britain, and moved with her husband and four children to Australia in 2002.

In 2014, the state’s judicial health watchdog found her guilty of professional misconduct that was substantially below the standards in Australia, after three babies died after birth.

The Health Practitioners Tribunal banned Barrett from practicing as a midwife. She received a slap on the wrist as she was not jailed, but given a fine of $20,000 instead of jail time.

However, this did not stop Barrett from practicing as a midwife.
Sarah Kerr and Matthew Kavanagh decided to have a home birth for their twins Tully and Ruby.

They reached out to Barrett, who was known to them and she was present at the birth. However, the birth did not go as planned. Due to complications, Tully was taken to a hospital.

He was two days old when he died, while his twin survived. Court documents allege the unlicensed midwife “unlawfully killed” Tully.

His parents were in court as Barrett was charged with manslaughter.

The family in the second case did not want to be named. There newborn baby died at a Northfield home.

The baby was in breech position during delivery and because the mother did not have professional care available to her, the birth was delayed.

The baby was then taken to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, where he died the next day.

Prosecutor Tali Costi asked the judge to hold Barrett without bail as she may be a danger to other babies.

Investigators said that they have recorded conversations between Barrett and a client about how to “avoid detection” and “destroying” evidence that proved her involvement in the birth.

Barrett’s lawyer said that the 50-year-old is currently completing her third year of a Flinders University law degree and that she no longer works as a home birth midwife.

The judge granted bail with several strict conditions and ordered her to hand in her passport, but refused to set a curfew for Barrett.