A mum who was left in tears after being ejected from a court by a judge for breastfeeding her baby has spoken out about the humiliating ordeal which continues to drive fierce backlash.
The woman who didn’t want to be named said it made her feel ‘overwhelming shame and humiliation’ after Judge Mark Gamble made no apology as he spoke to jurors on Friday, the day after she was ousted.
Judge Gamble evicted her on Thursday as he presided over a high-profile case at the County Court in Victoria, saying her breastfeeding was a ‘distraction’.
She had been sitting in the courtroom with her baby observing the trial when he called her out.
The controversial eviction has sparked outrage and backlash across Australia, including former Victorian MP Kirstie Marshall who was also ordered to leave parliament two decades ago for the same issue.
Former Olympic aerial skier and politician Kirstie Marshall, who was asked to leave parliament while she breastfed newborn daughter Charlotte in 2003 weighed into the controversy after a mum was evicted from a courtroom
Judge Gamble addressed the controversy on Friday with the 15 jurors who were not in the courtroom at the time, telling them his actions were ‘self-explanatory.
But the mum at the centre of the controversy said there needs to be a lot more education on the issue.
‘I don’t want any other mother to have to go through the overwhelming shame and humiliation that I experienced,’ she told Herald Sun.
‘It’s not just about me, it’s about all the other mothers out there who are struggling with breastfeeding and are not feeling supported.’
Judge Gamble doubled down on his stance when he spoke to the jury on Friday repeating what he had said the day before.
Judge Mark Gamble (pictured) evicted the mum as he presided over a high-profile case at the County Court in Victoria on Thursday, saying her breastfeeding was a ‘distraction’
‘It should all be self-explanatory, members of the jury,’ he said.
‘What I said was this, and I am reading from the transcripts: ‘Madam, you will not be permitted to breastfeed a baby in court. I’m sorry. I will have to ask you to leave. It will be a distraction for the jury at the very least. Thank you”
‘I’m telling you this because it is something that has attracted some media publicity, and I think you need to know exactly what it was that I said and why I said it.
‘As I said a moment ago, I think that it is self-explanatory.’
Judge Gamble urged the jury to not let the media attention surrounding the court room eviction to stop them from making important decisions for the court case and said to ‘focus on the issues at hand’.
The mum who walked out of the court room crying on Thursday said she respected the judge and wasn’t demanding an apology from him or the courts.
But she is angry about singled her out for simply feeding her child.
‘We’re not where we were 20 years ago … there’s so many other ways he could have went about it,’ she said.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters (pictured) made history in 2017 for being the first woman to breastfeed in federal parliament called out the decision to oust the mum
Meanwhile, the incident sparked outrage with prominent breastfeeding mums speaking their minds on the issue.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters made history in 2017 for being the first woman to breastfeed in federal parliament.
‘If I can breastfeed in Parliament, mums should be able to breastfeed anywhere. We definitely need more women judges – even breastfeeding ones!’ she tweeted on Friday.
Senator Waters breastfed her her baby daughter, Alia, while moving a motion on black lung disease in the Senate.
Former Olympic aerial skier and politician Kirstie Marshall who was asked to leave Victorian parliament while she breastfed her then-11-day-old daughter Charlotte in 2003 also weighed into the controversy
‘A woman is simply providing for her baby,’ Ms Marshall (pictured) said this week
‘A woman is simply providing for her baby in a institution that is by all intent is designed to represent justice, fairness and protection of equality,’ she told 10News.
‘The irony is not lost on anyone.’
Presenters on Channel 10’s flagship program The Project called for the need for understanding after the woman was ‘shamed, singled out and humiliated’.
Katherine Feeney told the panel mothers like her have to respond to their bubs when they need a feed.
‘We can do this while maintaining the dignity of the court room it’s been done in parliament – the more we see women breastfeeding in public places the better,’ she said.
Meanwhile, other presenters were ‘surprised’ the baby was in the court room in the first place.
‘If the baby was there and it was that tiny and it’s being breastfed, it’s probably going to make noise it will need to eat – so there has to be some sort of understanding, journalist Georgie Tunny said.
Earlier on Friday, Today show host Karl Stefanovic also weighed into the saga.
Karl Stefanovic has blasted a judge for booting a breastfeeding mum and her child out of a courtroom
‘I can’t believe in this modern society,’ he said.
‘There are going to be people out there who say, ‘Oh, well, she could’ve gone outside somewhere else’. Come off it, what is the big deal?’
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