A pregnant woman who lost her baby after being savagely beaten by a teenage girl, who knew she was expecting, told of her horror when she saw her attacker's smirking police mugshot.
In the build-up to the sickening assault on August 27, 2017, Jessie-May Turpin, 24, of Plymouth, Devon, England, had received threatening messages from Jasmine Cochran, 19, during weeks of escalating tension.
Set upon in the street by Cochran after going out to get some food, then three months pregnant Jessie-May said her attacker continued to rain down kicks and punches, knowing full well she was expecting.
Jessie-May (PA Real Life/Collect)
Speaking out after Cochran, who admitted to crimes including assault by beating, possession of a bladed article, threat of violence and criminal damage, was jailed for 12 months, Jessie-May—who cried when she saw the grinning picture—said:
“I was pleading with her to stop, but she just carried on."
Jasmine Cochran mugshot(PA Real Life/Devon and Cornwall Police)
Tragically, the following day, Jessie-May woke with pain ripping through her stomach and, after racing to her local emergency room, she said doctors confirmed that she had suffered a miscarriage.
"Of course, I can't know for sure what caused me to lose my baby, as everyone knows the early stages of pregnancy are risky. But, in my opinion, it was all Jasmine's fault – she beat my baby out of me. I'd been coming up to the three month mark and would've just started to show. I was completely shell-shocked."
Jessie-May was in a new relationship with a man she does not wish to name when she fell pregnant early last year. Despite being unplanned, she was looking forward to welcoming her new arrival.
The news was particularly special to her, as an ectopic pregnancy in 2016— where the fertilized egg implants itself outside the womb— had raised questions around her fertility, after surgeons had to remove one of her fallopian tubes.
But her excitement was short-lived as, out of the blue in August 2017, she received a threatening message from Cochran, who Plymouth Crown Court heard had a "poor record of violence."Jessie-May was completely confused as, while she knew Cochran through mutual acquaintances, she was not a friend.
“It was totally out of the blue, essentially telling me to watch my back," she recalled.
“I didn't want to escalate the situation, so thought it was best to ignore her. Plus, I wasn't interested in childish spats – I had my unborn baby to think about."
But things came to a terrifying head on August 27 when, after walking home from getting some food, Jessie-May was set upon by Cochran.
“She came from behind and began kicking and punching me. I was screaming that I was pregnant, but she wouldn't stop. Eventually, she ran off and I called the police. I gave them my statement, then they dropped me home."
“I was so upset and in so much pain. Looking back, I wish I'd gone to hospital, but I was in a complete state of shock and not thinking properly. Deep down, I was already so sure that the unthinkable had happened to my baby, and I wasn't sure I could stand to hear those words out loud from doctors."
The next morning, after waking up still in agony, Jessie-May's worst fears were confirmed.
"Once my head had cleared, I realized I needed medical attention, so I went to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. They told me that I'd lost the baby. I never even found out the sex, it was heartbreaking."
In the wake of her loss, Jessie-May agreed to press charges and Cochran was soon arrested.
That night, it emerged the teenager had embarked on a crime spree—also committing criminal damage after showing up at a property armed with a knife and attempting to kick the door in.
Then, in February 2018, Cochran, of Mildmay Street, Greenbank, admitted to her crimes, including a charge of assault by beating in relation to the attack on Jessie-May, who was too traumatized to face her attacker in court.
Jailing her for 12 months, Judge Paul Darlow said of Cochran's attack on Jessie-May:
"You knew she was pregnant, she told you so. It was an attack that involved kicks as well as punches. I'm afraid you are going inside."
Judge Darlow added that he was "astonished" that the offense was only recorded as an assault by beating.
To add insult to injury, despite crying in the dock as she was sent down, Cochran's mugshot showed her laughing—something which enraged Jessie-May.
To this day, Jessie-May has no idea why she was targeted, although she has heard local rumors that Cochran was paid to beat her up by an old acquaintance she had fallen out with over a £10 ($13) debt.
Jessie-May has slammed her attacker's "joke" sentence (PA Real Life/Collect)
“I have no idea if that's true though. I ended up moving away for a while, as I couldn't cope with all the local gossip."
“People even said I was making all this up – but why would I lie? And, besides, it was all said in court and Jasmine was sent to prison. After everything that had happened, the last thing I needed was nasty rumors."
Tragically, Jessie-May was dealt fresh heartache, after suffering another ectopic pregnancy lead to the surgical removal of her remaining fallopian tube.
Now no longer able to carry children naturally, she said the ordeal made Cochran's attack all the more horrific.
Jessie-May said she was heartbroken to see Cochran's smirking mugshot (PA Real Life/Collect)
Echoing Judge Darlow's comments, Jessie-May remains horrified that Cochran was not charged with a more serious crime.
Slamming Cochran's “joke" sentence, Jessie-May said:
“I hate Jasmine for what she's done. She only got sentenced to a year when, in my opinion, I lost my baby because of her."
“She should be locked up for much longer."
"Her mugshot broke my heart. She ruined my life, and treated it all as a joke."
A version of this article originally appeared on Press Association.