Jailed nanny Louise Woodward pregnant in new Shropshire life

She was once one of the most talked about women in the UK and America. But 16 years after Louise Woodward was jailed in the US for killing a baby she was looking after she has built a new life for herself in the West Midlands.

Louise Woodward with husband Antony Elkes. Picture courtesy Daily Mail.
Louise Woodward with husband Antony Elkes. Picture courtesy Daily Mail.

And now the 35-year-old, who lives near Bridgnorth, is said to be expecting a baby of her own.

She was jailed for 15 years in 1997 after she was convicted of the second-degree murder of eight-month-old Matthew Eappen in his home in Boston, Massachusetts.

However she served just 279 days after winning an appeal to reduce her conviction to one of involuntary manslaughter.

The case made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic and saw the nanny thrust into the spotlight as television cameras captured her every move during the trial.

Matthew had been in Louise's care when he fell unconscious and was rushed to hospital, where he died five days later from fatal brain injuries

It was claimed in court that Louise had shaken Matthew violently and hit his head against a hard surface such as the bathroom floor. Her defence asserted that Matthew's death had been caused by an old injury sustained weeks before.

Everyone - both here and in America - knew her name and she was even dubbed 'the most notorious criminal in Massachusetts' by an American magazine

But after returning to the UK she moved from Cheshire to a sleepy Shropshire village where she has carved out a new career with her own dance school, teaching classes at Morville Village Hall. She has even tried her hand at baking - attending classes in Wolverhampton.

Her 32-year-old husband Antony Elkes, is a businessman and the pair live in a former council semi detached house.

Friends say she is delighted to be expecting her first child.

Speaking yesterday one pal said: "She looks different now, happier, she's definitely happy now.

"People are very very protective of her, I know she's always wanted a baby, and now it's finally happening."

Louise, who teaches salsa dancing, has spoken previously of being haunted by her past and how she longed for a baby of her own.

She said: "Of course, I know there are some people out there just waiting for me to have a baby so they can say nasty things.

"'That 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.

"Not only is Antony gorgeous, but he is family oriented, thoughtful and caring, and an open, honest person which are qualities I really value.

"After I told him about my past I knew I would be able to tell if his his attitude had changed towards me, but he didn't change a bit.

"For all I know he might have Googled me when he got home but if he knows all the details, he doesn't seem to mind.

"His family also have been extremely nice to me. When I'm not with him, I feel like half of me is missing, there is a big space in front of me where Antony should be."

Speaking yesterday Louise refused to comment on her pregnancy saying "I'm not doing any press".