A DRINK driver has been accused of causing the death of a premature baby even though the little girl was not born until 20 days after the accident.
Gurim Pajova, who had no licence or insurance, was almost three times over the limit when he crashed after failing to negotiate a left hand bend on a narrow country road at Covenham St Bartholomew.
Both Pajova and his 21-week pregnant passenger Sarah Miles were seriously hurt with Miss Miles’ injuries including seat belt bruising to her abdomen where the unborn baby was sitting.
Gordon Aspden prosecuting, told a jury at Lincoln Crown Court that the injuries Sarah Miles suffered in the collision set in motion the sequence of events that led to baby Nicole’s death.
The baby’s death was due to ‘extreme prematurity’ which the prosecutor said was a direct result of the injuries her mother received.
Mr Aspden said: “Without the car crash baby Nicole would not have died in the way she did. The entire sequence of events followed from that car crash.
“In law the car crash need not have been the only cause or the main cause. Provided the car crash contributed to the premature birth of Nicole that is sufficient for you to convict this man.”
The jury heard Miss Miles was suffering from bleeding immediately after the crash but was subsequently discharged from the Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.
Mr Aspden said: “In the days that followed she continued to experience bleeding and underwent various medical checks.”
Miss Miles was readmitted to hospital as a result of the collision on March 28 2010 but released again after 48 hours and then underwent an ultra sound scan.
“The baby was alive but the amniotic fluid around it had begun to escape and the membranes had been ruptured. Her waters had broken.”
Later tests showed that there was hardly any fluid around the baby. Miss Miles also contracted an e-coli infection which spread into her womb.
Mr Aspden said: “On Saturday April 17 2010, less than three weeks after this car crash, she went into premature labour. She was readmitted to hospital. She was in labour for over six hours and at 12 minutes past five she gave birth to a baby girl, That baby girl was later named Nicole.
“The baby had a faint heart beat and the doctors did all they could for that little baby. They ventilated it and started to resuscitate it but tragically 25 minutes after it was born the baby died.
“There were two post mortem examinations. The cause of her death was extreme prematurity. The day she was born her mother was 24 weeks and one day into her pregnancy - just short of six months.”
The jury heard that a passing motorist who stopped to help when he saw the crash noticed an empty lager can in the foot well of the car and said the vehicle stank of alcohol.
“It would appear alcohol was being consumed during the journey,” said Mr Aspden.
Both Pajova and Miss Miles were at her friend’s house in Grimsby before they set off for a drive in the countryside with Pajova behind the wheel of Miss Miles’ Peugeot 206.
Mr Aspden said: “During the journey his driving was erratic. He was spinning around corners at speed. Loud music was being played from the stereo.”
As the car approached the bend it smashed into a road sign then crashed through a hedge before finishing up in a field.
Pajova failed a breath test at the scene with the reading showing 95 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath compared to the legal limit of 35 mgs. He refused attempts to take a blood sample when he was taken to hospital with spinal injuries claiming he was frightened of needles.
Prof Janesh Gupta, a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, told the jury he was ‘sure’ the car crash was a cause of the baby’s premature birth and consequential death.
He said: “The tenderness and bruising to the chest and abdomen correlated with the location of the seat belt. The lower seat belt would have been covering exactly where the baby was sat.”
The jury was told that Pajova was a friend of Miss Miles and was not the father of the baby.
Pajova, 24, of no fixed address but formerly living in Grimsby, denies causing the death of baby Nicole Miles by careless driving while unfit through drink.
He also denies causing death by careless driving while uninsured, while driving without a licence and failing to provide a specimen.
The trial continues.