Nice catch! First-time father delivers son into his jumper in hospital car park
Policeman says: 'We thought they were having a domestic – then we realised she was having a baby'
A father delivered his baby son into his jumper in a wet car park – 10 minutes after midwives told his heavily pregnant girlfriend she wasn't ready to give birth.
Today Martin Dunsford, 37, praised the four policeman who happened to be within shouting distance and dashed to help his partner Toni Pankhurst, 33.
Phoenix arrived safely, weighing 5lbs 15oz, on the ground of a wet car park at Queen Elizabeth Hospital car park in Woolwich, south London.
Martin Dunsford with his partner Toni
and baby Phoenix with a PC teddy bear. They were helped by four police officers after Toni gave birth early
The couple had been told there were still a
few hours before the birth on December 17 and were advised to go for a walk.
minutes later Toni's waters broke as they went to collect their bags
from the car.
Martin said: 'I grabbed the
bags, got Toni out the car and locked the door. We got about eight steps from
the car before she said “the baby is coming”.
'I assumed she meant
another contraction, but then I put
my hand between her legs and felt a head.
'I held on to her and shouted
for help. Four police offers heard our cries for help and came over.'
The 37-year-old added: 'As the four police officers were lying Toni down, I took
off my jumper and held the baby's head in the hood.
'As she got to the
floor the rest of him came out into my hands.'
While PC Chris Clare held her head and spoke to her, PC Vicki Hurst helped Martin. Meanwhile PC Leuan Hill and PC Martin Avis went to get help.
Unexpected delivery: Toni Pankhurst, 33, gave birth in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital car park on 17 December
The first-time father said: 'I just really want to thank the
officers who came to help us. Police sometimes get criticised for not
doing enough, but I don't know what I would have done without them that
'The way they went way above and beyond the call of duty and
helped us out was fantastic.
'They even came to visit us afterwards with
a bunch of flowers and a bear dressed in police uniform – I really
appreciate what they did.'
Avis said: 'It was surreal because we were at the hospital because we
had arrested a man with a meat cleaver and a knife on Plumstead High
Street and he needed some medical attention.
'We thought they were
having a domestic but when we got closer we realised that she was having
He added: 'Mr Dunsford was in such an impossible position,
whether to leave her on her own or to go and get help. We were really in
the right place at the right time.
'It was really surreal because one
minute you're dealing with somebody with a meat cleaver in their hands
and the next you're delivering a baby in a dark, wet car park.'