United Kingdom

Pub drinker, 37, 'deliberately kicked pregnant woman in the stomach

A pregnant woman lost her unborn baby after she was deliberately kicked in the stomach by a pub drinker during a Valentine's Day altercation, a jury was told.

Roger Bygrave, 37, had been drinking at the Market House Inn, located in Dartmouth, Devon, when he was told by a member of staff that he could not take his glass outside on February 14 last year.

The pub-goer 'gave the finger' to staff before walking outside with his beverage, where he was confronted by the landlord and others, a court heard.

Prosecutor Adrian Chaplin said the pregnant woman, who had spoken to the defendant during the night, went outside to use her own barmaid experience to 'calm things down' when she was kicked in the abdomen by Bygrave.  

The expectant mother, who was 28-weeks pregnant, had to undergo an emergency Caesarian operation, but her baby daughter was stillborn. 

Bygrave, from Dartmouth, who is on trial at Plymouth Crown Court after claiming he acted in self-defence, has pleaded not guilty to child destruction.   

Roger Bygrave, 37, from Dartmouth, Devon, kicked the pregnant woman in the stomach and caused her to lose he baby during a Valentine's Day altercation last year

On the day of the attack, prosecutor Adrian Chaplin told Plymouth Crown Court that Bygrave had downed around ten pints of cider.

He later took a glass outside the pub before he was challenged by a member of staff who told him the drink should be in a plastic glass.  

The member of staff then went outside with a plastic cup and Bygrave poured his cider into it.    

The barrister played several CCTV clips which showed Bygrave, who was with his young nephew, then confronting a group of people outside the venue before the pregnant woman, who was at the pub with her sister, tried to intervene.  

Mr Chaplin said that the pregnant woman - who had spoken to the defendant through the night - was trying to 'calm things down'.

He added that she admitted striking him to the face and he said the footage showed he immediately kicked her in the stomach.

The footage then showed her walk away and crouch in the street before being helped back into the pub.

One member of the staff at the Market House Inn said: 'He kicked her in the bottom of the stomach as if he was kicking in a door.' 

Mr Chaplin said: 'The prosecution case is that in retaliation he deliberately aimed a sharp kick at her stomach. He had a good view, the prosecution say, of where he was kicking her.'

Bygrave, from Dartmouth, who is on trial at Plymouth Crown Court has pleaded not guilty to child destruction

The pub drinker had been drinking at the Market House Inn, located in Dartmouth, Devon

The prosecutor said the kick was 'spitefully deliberate and unnecessary.'

The barrister said that the defendant then pulled the pregnant woman's sister to the floor and caused her to hurt her ankle.

Mr Chaplin concluded: 'The prosecution say he did so (kick out) with the intention to get back at her in a way that intended to cause her to lose that child and she did.' 

Bygrave, Dartmouth, has pleaded not guilty to child destruction. 

He denied wilfully kicking the pregnant woman to her lower abdomen with intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, causing the child to die before it had an existence independent of her mother.

He pleaded not guilty to assaulting her causing grievous bodily harm with intent on February 14, 2020.

Bygrave also denied assaulting the woman's sister causing actual bodily harm that same day. 

The court heard that Bygrave was quickly arrested and interviewed.

Mr Chaplin said the defendant said he kicked out as 'someone came at me'.

He then told officers he did not know if the person was male or female and said he would not have kicked out if he had known it was the pregnant woman.

Bar staff Ann Temperton, on the witness stand, said she followed Bygrave out of the pub as he walked into the street with his glass.

She added that the defendant spent two or three minutes 'muttering and mumbling' before he transferred his drink into the plastic glass.

Ms Temperton said that by the time she went back outside several people were stood in the road 'shouting and arguing', including the two sisters. 

The pregnant woman's sister said she noticed that Bygrave was being 'rude' and 'argumentative' with other pub customers that night before the incident outside.

She added: 'There were a lot of people around, pushing and shoving.'

The witness said that her sister knew the defendant and was trying to calm him down.   

She added: 'The next thing I know was him raising his foot and kicking her in the stomach. To be honest, everything which happened after that was a bit blurry. It all seemed to happen at once.

'I hit him across the face and he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me to the floor.'

The trial continues.

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