No procecutions as UK 13-year-old vows to be a good father

Police will not be looking to prosecute anyone in the case of a 13-year-old boy who has become a father, it was disclosed today.

Police will not be looking to prosecute anyone in the case of a 13-year-old boy who has become a father, it was disclosed today.

Alfie Patten's girlfriend Chantelle Steadman, 15, gave birth to Maisie Roxanne at the Eastbourne District General Hospital, East Sussex, it was reported.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said the force had looked at the case and decided it was "not in anyone's interests" for a prosecution to take place.

In a statement, police said: "Sussex Police Child Protection Team were aware of a 14-year-old girl that had become pregnant as the result of a relationship with a 12-year-old boy.

"A joint agency investigation with East Sussex County Council Children's Services has taken place which has considered the needs of both individuals and there will be continued support for these two young people in the future."

Today the teenager was keeping a low profile as reporters and cameramen stood outside his family home in Hailsham, near Eastbourne.

Friends and relatives left the detached property without making any comment to journalists.

Neighbours in the quiet residential area spoke of their shock at the revelation a 13-year-old boy had fathered a child.

Retired hospital porter John Holmes, 90, said: "I'm surprised really. He is such a nice boy. I would hardly dare go home if I was a dad at 13."

The boy, who is just 4ft tall and looks young for his age, told the Sun newspaper: "I thought it would be good to have a baby," but admitted he did not think about how he would afford it.

"I don't really get pocket money. My dad sometimes gives me £10," he said.

Alfie, who lives with his mother Nicola, 43, was 12 when Maisie was conceived.

The pair, who have the support of their parents, kept the pregnancy secret until Chantelle's mother Penny noticed her daughter's swollen belly.

Alfie said: "When my mum found out, I thought I was going to get in trouble.

"We wanted to have the baby but were worried how people would react.

"I didn't know what it would be like to be a dad. I will be good, though, and care for it."

Alfie's father Dennis said his son wanted to be a devoted and responsible father, but did not fully appreciate what he had taken on by having a child.

He said Alfie had wanted to be the first to hold his child. "He could have shrugged his shoulders and sat at home on his PlayStation. But he has been at the hospital every day," he said.

Chantelle and Maisie were released from hospital yesterday and are living with her family in a council house in Eastbourne.

East Sussex County Council said the parents will be supported with intensive monitoring and health visitor support.

A council spokesman said: "Any birth to parents this young is a cause of great concern to us and in these circumstances we will always offer substantial support to the families involved.

"We have worked closely with both families since the pregnancy came to light.

"We have also worked with colleagues in the health service and with the schools concerned to assess the needs of the young people to ensure they get the right support and also ensure the needs of the unborn child are properly met.

"The process will now continue with intensive monitoring and health visitor support.

"In East Sussex, we have a very robust sexual health strategy which is successfully reducing numbers of teenage pregnancies in the county.

"We have just launched our sexual health campaign as part of our ongoing drive to get all our young people to take responsibility for their actions and understand the serious consequences of sexual relationships."

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox