14/08/2014 16:57 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Louise Woodward Has Baby Girl Called Holly


Former nanny Louise Woodward has given birth to her first child - 16 years after she was jailed in America for killing a baby in her care.

Louise, now a 35-year-old salsa teacher, gave birth to a girl last week, close to her due date.

An unconfirmed report suggests she and husband Anthony Elkes, a businessman, have named their daughter Holly.

She was born at the turn of the New Year. Woodward was convicted of shaking eight-month-old Matthew Eappen to death in his home in Boston in 1997 and was jailed for 15 years.

She was released after just 279 days when she won an appeal to reduce her conviction to involuntary manslaughter.

The parents are said to be 'thrilled' by their baby's new arrival but has so far declined to comment on their happy news.

It is understood that both mother and child remain in hospital in Shrewsbury but were due to be transferred to a maternity unit closer to Woodward's home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, imminently.

A source told the Mail: "Mother and baby are both doing well. Louise and Anthony have called the baby Holly. She was born either on New Year's Eve or maybe New Year's Day.

"I'm not sure why they are still in hospital, but Louise had an infection shortly before the birth so the doctors may just be playing it safe because of that."

Previously Louise, who now lives near Bridgnorth, Shropshire, said: "I know there are some people waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things. "It upsets me but that is not going to stop me leading my life. I am innocent, I have done nothing wrong. "I am entitled to enjoy my life. I am not going to apologise for being happy."

When told about Louise's pregnancy last month, Matthew's mum Debbie Eappen appeared shellshocked. She said: "I'm sorry, I'm going to have to think if I want to make any comment. I didn't know about it."

Louise landed her dream job as a nanny at the Boston home of Debbie and her husband Sunny in 1996. Just 10 weeks later Matthew was dead. He was in Louise's care when he fell unconscious. He was rushed to hospital where he died five days later from brain injuries. He had suffered a fractured skull and a blood clot on the brain.

Prosecutors alleged Matthew had shown classic symptoms of shaken baby syndrome, which can happen when a baby is violently shaken. The defence team argued the 1997 death had been caused by an injury the baby sustained weeks before.

Louise has always maintained her innocence, and her claims have been backed by various medical experts in recent years.