Heather Thorpe has been criticised for striking her heavily pregnant belly with a claw hammer. Source: YouTube

A HEAVILY pregnant woman has been caught on camera hitting her baby bump with a hammer to prove how 'hard' her unborn child is.

Heather Thorpe, 24, was filmed by her former partner, Sean Hanlon, striking herself with the claw hammer around a month before giving birth to her son, Jonathon.

But when Mr Hanlon, 26, showed the video to police, officers refused to press charges, insisting no offence had been committed.

Yesterday Mr Hanlon said he was appalled at the decision, adding: "If there was a film of someone hitting a baby with a hammer they would be in handcuffs in 10 seconds flat." Mr Hanlon shot the five-second video in the couple's living room in October last year, just weeks before Miss Thorpe's due date.

He said he had been filming her on his iPhone when she told him: "My baby's hard as anything - just watch this." He then began filming her as she walked over to his toolbox. The short clip shows Miss Thorpe lifting up her top to reveal her baby bump.

She then grabs the steel claw hammer and hits the side of her stomach twice, apparently not caring about the harm that could be inflicted on her unborn infant.

He said she had also punched herself before because "she wanted the baby to come out".

Mr Hanlon, a security guard from Lea Village, Birmingham, said: "I was completely shocked, but Heather didn't seem to care.

"I asked her what the hell she was doing but she just told me to stop overreacting. Jonathon was born and he was OK." The couple later separated and Ms Thorpe went to police, accusing Mr Hanlon of domestic violence. When officers knocked on his door last December he told them she was lying and handed over the footage he had shot as evidence of her character.

Mr Hanlon said: "I couldn't believe it when the police didn't press charges. I also sent the video to social services who have been sending someone round to see her regularly, but anyone can put an act on in front of them." Ms Thorpe's family have claimed her current partner is Jonathon's biological father, although the man himself has denied that.

Ms Thorpe, who now lives with her one-year-old son at the home of her parents in Chelmsley Wood, West Midlands, refused to comment yesterday.

The West Midlands Police investigation report of the incident, dated January 3, states that Ms Thorpe was thought to be eight months pregnant when the video was shot.

It says that a social worker estimated that "on a scale of 1-10 (one being the softest, 10 being the hardest) ... the blows are around 5 or 6".

The document adds that after delivering the blows "Heather puts the hammer down and gestures as if to say 'See? I've done it'." It also reveals that six weeks after Jonathan was born, Ms Thorpe bragged to social workers that he could give the 'V-sign' on demand.

Mr Hanlon released the video after a local paper ran a story last week about how Jonathan was a precocious 'superkid', quoting Ms Thorpe as saying he could walk, talk and read at the age of one.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "A report was received in December 2012 from a member of the public regarding footage of a pregnant woman self-harming.

"A thorough investigation was undertaken by police and no criminal offences were found. The matter was referred to local adult and child services."


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