Breast-feeding mum kicked out of court

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A Wanaka woman says she felt humiliated after being ejected from Queens­town District Court for breastfeeding her baby. 

Catherine Owen, sitting in the public gallery on Tuesday, was breastfeeding her 17-week-old girl Brianny when Judge Kevin Phillips ordered senior constable Chris Blackford to get her out. 

“I’m not at all happy about a mother breastfeeding in court,” Judge Phillips fumed. 

“It’s not a place for this to occur.” 

Owen’s baby was not crying or making a sound when she was ejected. 

“I was pretty embarrassed,” she says. 

“It was the manner in which it was done that bothered me.” 

A Ministry of Justice spokesman says judges are entitled to remove breastfeeding mums from court. 

“Judges have the authority to run their courtroom in a manner they consider appropriate to the administration of justice. It is a wide power.”