Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder a life sentence without parole

When the Milne family adopted their son David as a toddler after his mother had abandoned him as an infant, they had no idea, he had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Now 15 years on, the family say it's been a huge struggle living with the disorder.

15-year-old David Milne, has been handed a life sentence for a crime that he did not commit.

Kim Milne (Mother) says, “But he has no chance of a reprieve or of parole, this his is life and by association, it's become our life. David hates what he's got, he didn't ask for it, he didn't have a choice, but we're all in this prison with him.”

David Milne - Ngāti Kahungunu says, “It's pretty much just torture it's just complete havoc every single moment of life, it just really really sux. There's no words I can use to describe it, it's just too painful."

He has FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), a disorder that affects his behaviour, causes aggressive outbursts and stunts his learning.

Kim Milne says, “We have to lock doors, we've got alarms on doors to keep him as safe as possible, because when his brain glitches he does dangerous, risky and unpredictable things and we do our best to keep him safe.”

But it's a disorder that is 100% preventable if expectant mothers avoid consuming alcohol.

Dr. Russell Wills says, “We don't know how much you can get away with there is no such things as a safe amount I've seen children with clear fetal alcohol affects whose mothers only drank once or twice they were just unlucky."

Definite FASD figures are unknown at present but its estimated 1 in 100 children have it.