A Manchester mum’s tireless campaign work has led to a new law that makes it illegal to photograph breastfeeding women.
Julia Cooper launched the Breastfeeding in Peace campaign after she caught a man taking photos of her breastfeeding her child at Sale Water Park in June last year.
She asked the man to delete the photos but he refused, saying it was was his right as they were in a public place. Police later told her there was nothing they could do.
At the time, Julia told ITV News that the incident made her feel ‘violated’ and ‘powerless’, saying: “He captured something of me and my daughter and I felt so violated. I just felt so shocked, powerless, I didn’t know what to do.”
It was then that Julia decided to fight for change, with her spending her maternity leave campaigning to change the law.
And her efforts weren’t in vain, as a new breastfeeding voyeurism offence carrying sentences of up to two years behind bars comes into force this week.
To be guilty of the offence, the perpetrator must be acting for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification or of humiliating, alarming or distressing the victim.
The new law, added to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts act, builds on existing offences of voyeurism which banned ‘upskirting’, where offenders take a picture under someones clothes without them knowing.
Julia’s campaign was backed by Labour MP for Withington Jeff Smith under the slogan ‘Stop the Breast Pest’, and he welcomed yesterday’s law change.
Smith said: “Mothers should be able to feel comfortable breastfeeding. They shouldn’t be made to feel uncomfortable by someone taking these kind of photographs without their consent.
“Everybody I have spoken to says the same thing: I can’t believe this isn’t illegal. It’s a fairly simple change to the law that we think we can make and it will protect women.”
Julia said back in January, when the law was passed: “This change in the law is hopefully a reassurance for mothers to feel like they can get out the house and feed their kids wherever they want.
“The law will be there to catch them if they are unfortunate enough to meet a creep like I was.”
26-year-old who died in horror crash named as family pay tribute to ‘sensitive soul’
‘Saadat was a much-loved brother, son, and great human being’
A 26-year-old man who was killed in a horror crash in Manchester this weekend has been named.
Three others were critically injured in the collision, but have since been confirmed as being in a ‘stable’ condition by police.
The incident occurred on Chancellor Lane around 7am Sunday morning, and within minutes officers had attended the scene.
The man who sadly passed away has now been named as Saadat Shah, with his family paying tribute to the ‘sensitive soul’.
Saadat’s family said: “Saadat was a much-loved brother, son, and great human being. His life was just starting, and he just came back from Paris for his birthday last week.
“He had so many plans and was going to get married soon. He was very close with all members of his family, and he greatly loved everyone.
“A sensitive soul, he will be dearly missed by everyone forever. RIP.”
According to police, a car travelling away from the city centre lost control before colliding with a bollard – with no other vehicles involved.
Four men were taken to hospital to be treated, however Saadat sadly passed away despite the best efforts of medics
The other three occupants, aged 23, 24 and 29, suffered ‘life threatening injuries’, however in an update on Monday, December 5th, a Greater Manchester Police spokesperson said the car’s driver was in a ‘critical but stable’ condition.
The vehicle’s two other passengers are also in a stable condition, police said, but both have serious injuries.
No arrests have been made in relation to the crash, and GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit are still appealing for anyone who may have seen the accident during the early hours to get in touch.
Officers want to speak to anyone who may have footage – including dashcam, mobile phone or CCTV/doorbell footage – from the area in the moments both before and after the crash.
Anyone with information can contact police on 0161 856 4741 quoting incident 713 of 4/12/22, or pass on details via their LiveChat function at www.gmp.police.uk or anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Five-year-old girl becomes ninth child to die after contracting Strep A
Make sure you know what signs to look out for
A five-year-old girl has sadly passed away after contracting Strep A, making her the ninth child to die after becoming ill with the infection.
The girl, who went to the Black Mountain Primary School in Northern Ireland, became severely ill last week before being treated at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Tragically she passed away on Monday, December 5th.
According to the BBC, the Public Health Agency (PHA) sent a letter to parents of children at the school on Friday, asking them to attend a clinic to be seen by a doctor and receive a preventative course of antibiotics.
Black Mountain Primary has said the girl’s death was a tragic loss, as it seeks to reassure parents that it was working closely with the PHA.
Meanwhile across the rest of the UK, seven children in England and one in Wales have sadly died since September as a result of complications from Strep A bacterial infections.
The message from health officials is for parents to be vigilant, and that while most cases of Strep A are mild, if your child deteriorates rapidly you should seek urgent medical advice.
According to some experts, the UK is experiencing this outbreak due to the last two years of the Covid pandemic where children didn’t mix as much.
This means their systems are not immune to a number of different infections, and there’s been a warning that the number of cases of both Strep A and scarlet fever will rise in the next few weeks.
The chairman of the GP committee of the British Medical Association, Dr Alan Stout, has said that the number of deaths among children in the UK was ‘slightly unusual’.
He said: “The last proper outbreak was four or five years ago, there were maybe four deaths associated with that – not even direct effect, but associated with the infection. So to get to eight or nine now [across the UK] is slightly unusual.”
Warning signs of the invasive disease include a fever (a high temperature above 38C) and severe muscle aches.
The UKHSA is advising anyone with a high fever, severe muscle aches, pain in one area of the body and unexplained vomiting or diarrhoea to seek urgent medical assistance.
Cheers star Kirstie Alley dies aged 71 after short illness
Sad news this morning
Cheers star Kirstie Alley has sadly passed away aged 71 after a short illness.
Alley also starred with John Travolta in the 1989 romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking, as well as on Celebrity Big Brother.
Her children posted an update to Instagram: “To all our friends, far and wide around the world…
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered.
“She was surrounded by her closest family and fought with great strength, leaving us with a certainty of her never-ending joy of living and whatever adventures lie ahead. As iconic as she was on screen, she was an even more amazing mother and grandmother.
“We are grateful to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at the Moffitt Cancer Center for their care.
“Our mother’s zest and passion for life, her children, grandchildren and her many animals, not to mention her eternal joy of creating, were unparalleled and leave us inspired to live life to the fullest just as she did.
“We thank you for your love and prayers and ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.
“With love always, True and Lillie Parker”.