Lawyer acts to aid unborn baby

Stuff.co.nz 30/01/2011
A lawyer who refused to seek bail for a drug-addicted pregnant client assigned to him is being hailed as a hero.

Child advocate Christine Rankin said lawyer Tony Bouchier’s actions were heroic, after he contacted Child, Youth and Family about the case.

Six months pregnant Isabelle Kare Brown, 35, who is on a methadone programme, was charged with possessing instruments for methamphetamine use, and appeared in court last week, after police found her living rough in a garden shed in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes. Rotting food, beer bottles, a petrol can and, according to police, needles littered the floor near where she was sleeping. Barefoot and filthy, her urine-soaked trousers allegedly had a rusty razorblade and a used hypodermic needle in the pockets.

She would have been released on bail last Monday but for the efforts of her assigned counsel, Bouchier, who was upset the police declined to apply for detention under the Alcoholism and Drug Addiction Act. “I’m supposed to go and get her bail but I know where she’s going to go,” he said. “I know I’m sticking my neck out to a degree, but morally, I think I’m right. “Morally, I think looking out for Isabelle is looking out for the baby. Isabelle is not concerned with the baby. Isabelle is concerned about Isabelle.”
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