Just another innocent victim

Hamish McNeilly's newborn son.
Hamish McNeilly's newborn son.
ODT reporter Hamish McNeilly has a blunt message for the thief who raided midwife Nicki Cowan's car after she answered an emergency call at 3am.

I don't know you but I know your type. You see, for the past four years I have written hundreds of crime stories while covering the police round for the Otago Daily Times.

From murders to sexual predation, to burglaries and vehicle thefts, all those cases have a common factor of offenders and victims.

I don't know if you were watching when the St John ambulance pulled up outside my inner-city Dunedin house early yesterday.

If you did, you may have noticed the lovely paramedics help my partner into the waiting ambulance.

And that barefoot guy cradling his newborn son in the pouring rain? That was me, as I tried to calm an overexcited 6-year-old.

You'd be glad you weren't watching half-an-hour earlier when our baby came crashlanding into this world on our cold bathroom floor.

Just before, I had made my first nervous call to the on-call midwife saying baby was on his way, followed by another call five minutes later, admittedly in a more panicked state, when I told her he had arrived.

Within minutes, the midwife, whom we had never met, arrived at our door to help us in our hour of need.

But I guess you didn't know that.

And I'm guessing you wouldn't care, given you picked up a rock from a neighbour's garden and smashed the passenger side window of her vehicle.

You took medical equipment and personal effects. Glass had shattered inside her car and over a child's car seat.

She was visibly upset when she knocked on my door yesterday, and I swept up the glass as she drove away in the cold.

Just another victim as innocent as a newborn baby.

Midwife Nicki Cowan's 3am mercy dash to help Hamish and his family - which ended happily with mum and baby healthy and doing well - ended with a smashed car window and $3000 of equipment stolen.''

Everything's gone. It's been gutting.''

I just hope I can get my things back.''

After the 3am callout, Miss Cowan returned from the hospital at 6.30am to a depressing scene.

''They smashed a rock through my passenger window, so there's glass all through my car and of course it was raining and the middle of the night so everything is all wet.''

Her handbag, wallet and maternity equipment was stolen.

She is covered by insurance, but in the meantime has put the word out in the hope somebody will find the equipment.

''I'd be so pleased if it turned up.''

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