Britain's 13-year-old father a symbol for society

Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:26am EST
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By Stefano Ambrogi

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A school boy of 13 has become one of Britain's youngest dads, underlining concern about the rate of teenage pregnancies in the country.

Four-foot Alfie Patten, who looks considerably younger than his age, was just 12 when his 15-year-old girlfriend Chantelle Steadman conceived after a night of unprotected sex.

Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said the "tragic" case illustrated the country's social decline.

"It exemplifies the point we have been making about broken Britain," he told London's Evening Standard newspaper.

"It's not about being accusative: it's about pointing out the complete collapse in some parts of society of any sense of what's right and wrong."

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he was not familiar with the individual case, but told Sky TV: "All of us would want to avoid teenage pregnancies."

Maisie Roxanne was born in Eastbourne on Monday and police said that despite both children being underage they would not be looking into the case.

In a short video clip posted on YouTube, the lad, whose voice has not broken yet, said he did not know how he would support his family.   Continued...