'Pure fortune' saved 18-month-old girl after she fell from first-floor window, court hears

The baby reportedly collided with a shop awning and a passing man before hitting the ground

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The Independent Online

An 18-month-old baby who fell headfirst from a first-floor window was saved by the "pure fortune" of hitting first a shop awning then a passing man, a court has heard.

The jury at Maidstone crown court was told a witness, John Gilson, was walking down Station Road in Rainham on 5 August 2014 when he "felt something hit his shoulder", before discovering "a small baby on the pavement", Kent Online reported.

The account of Rebecca Zacharow, who also witnessed the incident, described how initially she “thought it was a doll” falling “headfirst” from the window of a flat above a shop.

The jury was told: “It hit the awning of the shop and then it hit the old man. It’s probably those two acts of pure fortune that saved the baby’s life.”

Ms Zacaharow stayed with the girl as an ambulance was called to take her to hospital, where she underwent minor surgery for a head injury sustained in the fall before being discharged several days later.

Geoff Gelbart, the prosecutor, relayed the witness accounts to the court as he made the case against the girl’s mother, who cannot be named to protect the child's identity.

Mr Gelbart told the court that the woman, who reportedly appeared at the window shortly after the baby’s fall before racing to the scene, admitted falling asleep with the window open. She denies the charge of neglect.

The trial continues.