A new mother in England claims a "creepy" man took pictures of her breastfeeding her baby girl and refused to delete them when she confronted him about it.

32-year-old Julia Cooper says she was breastfeeding her nine-month-old daughter on a bench in Sale, Greater Manchester, when she noticed a man sitting at a nearby picnic table taking pictures of her.

"At the end of the walk, I just sat on a bench and was breastfeeding my daughter and noticed the man staring," Cooper said, the Manchester Evening News reported.

"It felt horrible."

She said the man attached a zoom lens to his camera to get a better look at what was happening.

"I was being discrete about feeding her and I think that's why he attached a zoom lens, because he wanted to get as close-up a shot as possible of what was going on," she said.

When she confronted the man he admitted to taking their photos and refused to delete them even after repeated pleas.

"There was no chance he was trying to take shots of the car park behind me. He was definitely trying to take photos of me," Cooper said.

"After feeding my daughter, I went over and asked him if he was taking photos of us."

"He confirmed he was and refused to delete the photos, and he said it was his right because we were in public."

"He didn't explain why he'd taken the pictures and I didn't think to ask. In a way, I didn't want to know."

"It was obviously a sinister reason. I would guess it was for sexual gratification. It was a cold April day, and I was wearing a big coat."

"It was only when he saw me breastfeeding that he decided to get his camera out, so I'm guessing it was [for] some sort of pleasure."

"I went away, went home and felt really angry and disgusted."

She said that on her way back she reported the incident to the police but they refused to take action saying that he acted within the law.

"I spoke to Greater Manchester Police and they confirmed he had acted within the law. Even the man at the police control room said 'I don't agree with this, but it is legal at the moment'," Cooper said.

"They couldn't do anything about it."

"I then got in touch with my MP Jeff Smith and his team have been great. They've taken it up and brought it up in parliament a week later."

"I got in touch with Stella Creasy on Twitter knowing she's a mum and a campaigner for women's rights. The same thing happened to her on a train in Wimbledon."

"Stella Creasey and Jeff Smith are tabling an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing [and Courts] Bill which is going to be debated in parliament over the next week, I think."

"It's at committee stage and that means there's a committee of MPs that are going line by line through all the amendments."

"The up skirting [Voyeurism (Offences) Act 2019] bill in 2019 just covers images taken below the waist. The amendment that the two MPs have proposed is that it would also include images and photos taken of breastfeeding."

"The petition has really taken off and I've spoken to Change.org and we're talking about when to deliver the petition to the Ministry of Justice."

"I'm really glad that someone positive is happening out of what happened to me."

"I do feel sad that [breastfeeding is] something that's been ruined for me."

"I've tried to do it a couple more times, but I feel like I'm really aware of who's around and if they look like the kind of person who'd take a photo of me."

"That's not something I should have to think about while feeding my daughter," Cooper added.

mother breastfeeding
Representation image. Pixabay

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