Father wins custody of coma baby

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The Independent Online
A LONG-RUNNING custody battle over a baby born to a woman left in a coma after a car crash was finally settled at the High Court in Birmingham yesterday.

Dennis Barrett, the father of eight-month-old Monique Douglas, won a residence order which will allow him to look after the child during the week. The baby's grandmother, Marie Langley, was granted a contact order giving her access to the child at weekends.

Mr Barrett, 27, of Castle Vale, Birmingham, said after the short hearing that he was happy with the 'amicable' agreement. Mrs Langley also agreed the settlement was in the best interests of her granddaughter.

Mr Barrett's girlfriend, Melanie Douglas, 20, suffered a fractured skull and brain damage in a car crash in December 1992. While in a coma at Good Hope Hospital, she was discovered to be eight weeks pregnant.

She gave birth to Monique last June and, although still in hospital, has now recovered sufficiently to be able to cuddle her baby.