Drunk thug who killed unborn baby when he kicked pregnant woman like he was 'taking a rugby penalty' is jailed

A THUG who killed an unborn baby when he kicked a mum-to-be as if he were "taking a rugby penalty" has been jailed.

Roger Bygrave had downed ten pints of cider when he lashed out at Alison Boulton at the Market House Inn in Dartmouth, Devon.

Ms Boulton, who was trying to calm down a pub scuffle, was 28 weeks pregnant at the time of the attack.

Landlord Mark Edwards later told cops the defendant had kicked the victim as if he was playing in a rugby match.

Surgeons performed an emergency C-section the following day, but baby Robyn arrived stillborn.

Bygrave has now been sentenced to 30 months behind bars for the assault, which happened on Valentine's Day two years ago.

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Exeter Crown Court heard Ms Boulton, then 34, had been left in "agony".

Judge Peter Johnson told the defendant Robyn had been a "perfectly viable" baby up until the moment of the assault.

"The distress caused by the loss of Robyn is unimaginable," he said.

"It will leave permanent physical and emotional scars."

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Bygrave, 37 and of Dartmouth, admitted causing grievous bodily harm without intent. He was cleared of child destruction by jurors.

The court heard Ms Boulton and her sister had been commemorating the anniversary of their grandfather's death on the night of the attack.

Bygrave caused a fuss over taking a glass outside, and gave staff the finger before he was confronted by the landlord.

The victim, a mum-of-six, went outside to help calm the situation down. Moments later, the defendant kicked her in the stomach.

Bygrave later told police he'd been "slapped and punched" in the head by a mystery assailant, before kicking out to protect himself.


"Someone jumped on me. It just happened so quick," he said.

"I didn't deliberately kick her in the tummy. I didn't intend to kill her unborn child.

"I had no reason to want to hurt her or the child – I was defending myself."

However, prosecutors alleged Bygrave was slapped twice by Ms Boulton after shoving the landlord, and had acted in retaliation while behaving in a "difficult and aggressive" manner.

It was alleged that Bygrave knew Ms Boulton was pregnant, and had focused his kick at the bottom of her stomach "as if he was kicking a door".

He kicked her like he was taking a rugby penalty

At the time of the assault, the victim had been wearing a figure-hugging red velvet dress.

She told a court she'd lost her job and struggles to leave her home.

"I've lost my life. I've lost me," she said.

"I was confident and outgoing and all that has changed."

Sean Bruton QC, mitigating for Bygrave, said the defendant had been "winding people up" and being "a bit of an ass" in the hours before the attack.

He wept when he learned the baby had died, it was heard.

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"This was a ghastly incident," Mr Bruton said.

"The consequences have been terrible."

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