Britain’s youngest-ever mother who had daughter aged 12 after being raped by her brother reveals ‘bittersweet experience’ of giving birth to another child
Tressa Middleton, 24, was raped by her 16-year-old brother Jason aged just 11
She had to give her daughter away aged 2 after revealing her shocking paternity
After she spiralled into a deep depression living at home in Bathgate, Scotland
But now her and her fiance Darren Young, 31, have their own baby Arihanna
Britain’s youngest-ever mother who had a daughter aged 12 after being raped by her brother has revealed the ‘bittersweet experience’ of giving birth to another child.
Tressa Middleton, 24, of Bathgate, Scotland, was raped by her then 16-year-old brother Jason at the age of just 11.
When her baby girl was two she was forced to give her away after authorities found out the shocking truth.
The decision to reveal her secret and allow her daughter to be taken into care haunted her, spiralling into a deep depression and heroin addiction.
But in October last year she and her fiance Darren Young, 31, welcomed their daughter Arihanna into the world.
Tressa Middleton (pictured), 24, of Bathgate, Scotland, was raped by her then 16-year-old brother Jason at the age of just 11 and gave birth to her first child nine months later. Now age 24 she and her fiance Darren have given birth to a baby girl Arihanna (pictured)
Happy family: Tressa Middleton and her fiance Darren Young (pictured) welcomed baby Arihanna into the world in October
Now her treasured second child has arrived, Tressa knows she should be happier than ever – but without her other daughter, the experience has been bittersweet.
She said: ‘I felt pure joy the moment Arihanna was born. There were times I thought I’d never have another baby, like it wasn’t meant to be.
‘But I also feel so guilty, because Arihanna is with me and my older daughter is not.
‘She is still the first thing I think about every morning and the last thing I think about at night.
‘I love her so much and I’ll always be her mum. I can’t be properly happy without her. It breaks my heart that Arihanna will grow up without knowing her big sister.’
Tressa and Darren Young welcomed 8lb 1oz Arihanna in October last year, after she endured a gruelling 24-hour labour.
Sex attacker: Tressa’s brother Jason (pictured) was arrested and jailed for four years after it transpired he had raped his sister
Speaking about her new arrival for the first time, the 24-year-old revealed she is desperate for her girls to meet when they are older.
Baby pictures of her first daughter still adorn the walls of her home in Bathgate, West Lothian, and she has kept handprints, baby clothes and a lock of her hair.
She said: ‘Arihanna will always know she has a big sister. I talk to her about it now, even though she can’t understand. She’ll never be a secret.
‘They are polar opposites – Arihanna is smiley and contented, while my other daughter was vocal and feisty – but I just know they’d get on.
‘I tell Arihanna that if her sister was here, they’d play games together. I joke Arihanna would follow her around and they’d probably annoy each other.
‘I really hope that one day they can meet. It would mean the world to me.’
Tressa is determined to give little Arihanna the happy childhood she so desperately craved.
Her mother, Tracey Tallons, struggled with drink and drug addiction and, as a toddler, Tressa cried because she couldn’t sleep through parties which stretched into the early hours.
She was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her brother from the age of seven and just four years later, she fell pregnant after he raped her.
Tressa and her baby were taken into care when she gave birth aged 12.
She said: ‘All I want is for Arihanna to have a normal childhood, where she knows she is loved and safe.
‘I loved my mum and she tried her best with us but she struggled. At times, I just wanted a routine, to watch TV and go to bed on time like other families.
‘I couldn’t talk to her about everything that was happening to me because she had so many problems of her own.
‘God forbid Arihanna should have to go through what I did but I want her to be able to talk to me about anything.’
For two years, Tressa kept the dreadful details of her first daughter’s conception from her family but at 14 she broke down and told a social worker.
A probe was launched by police and Jason was jailed in 2009 after a DNA test revealed he was the baby’s dad.
Devastated, Tressa’s baby was then taken from her, and she was told her little girl would be adopted as contact between the pair was phased out.
Memories of their final meeting, when her daughter was three, still haunt her.
She said: ‘I didn’t realise it was the last time I’d see her. She didn’t recognise me and she was scared. I couldn’t hug her, I had to stand back when I talked to her.
‘The worst part was when she shouted for her mummy – but she meant her adoptive mum, not me.
‘After that, we could only send letters. I wasn’t allowed to say ‘mummy loves you’ in case it confused her.’
Without her daughter, Tressa sank into deep depression and used alcohol and drugs to numb the pain of what she’d been through.
At her lowest point, in 2011, she developed a £400-a-day heroin habit.
But she managed to get clean with the help of a counsellor and began to build a new life with Darren.
The pair were overjoyed when she found out she was pregnant in 2012.
But their world was shattered weeks later when Tressa suffered a miscarriage.
Just three days afterwards, her mother died suddenly from pneumonia at just 41.
It would be four painful years before she conceived again and she feared she’d never cradle a child in her arms.
She said: ‘Losing both the baby and my mum in the same week was so hard.
‘Now, it’s hard to know that my mum will never get to meet Arihanna. I know she’d love her and she’d be really proud of her.
‘She was with me when I gave birth to my first daughter and when Arihanna arrived it was hard not to get upset that she wasn’t there.
‘I think about her all the time and there are lots of moments I’ve wished she was here, like when Arihanna giggled for the first time.’
Tressa hasn’t seen her brother since her mother’s funeral but still suffers crippling flashbacks of the sex attacks he subjected her to as a child.
And, while she has lovingly sent her first daughter birthday and Christmas presents every year, she hasn’t received a letter from her family for nearly three years.
The girl is now 11 and is aware she is adopted but Tressa knows she will one day learn the awful truth about how she was conceived.
She said: ‘I hope her adopted parents don’t tell her that I fell pregnant because Jason raped me.
‘I don’t want her to read it in the paper, either. I think I should be the one to tell her. I want to explain everything to her, when she is old enough to understand.
‘As for Arihanna, I’d prefer she didn’t know the full details of my past.
‘She needs to have her own life and she is my fresh start.’
Bathgate is just a few miles from Armadale, the town where Tressa spent most of her heartbreaking childhood.
She and Darren have regular drugs tests to prove they’re still clean and social workers are happy with the care they are giving their daughter.
Tressa now hopes to enrol in college and study psychology.
She has been fitted with the contraceptive implant because she doesn’t want to fall pregnant again until Arihanna starts school.
She said: ‘I suppose where we live does have painful memories of the area, but it makes me feel close to my mum.
‘People stare at me and I can tell they recognise me because I can hear them whispering. It doesn’t make me feel good but I just get on with it.
‘When I first fell pregnant, I was really scared Arihanna would be taken from me because of my past but social workers can see I have changed.
‘Darren and I keep ourselves to ourselves. We rarely go out and we never drink or do drugs.
‘Now, when I see girls of 11 and 12 on the street, they look so young that I can’t believe I had a baby at that age.
‘I want Arihanna to do all of the things I missed out on, like going to college and getting a degree. I’m determined that her life will be totally different to mine.’