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Jail for North Yorkshire woman who aborted her own baby
2:48pm Monday 17th September 2012 in News
A MARRIED woman who aborted her own baby within a week of his due date has been jailed for eight years.
Sarah Catt, 35, believed the baby’s faher was a man with whom she had been having an affair for seven years. Catt, from Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, bought drugs on the internet which induced her labour when her pregnancy was nearly full-term.
Leeds Crown Court heared how she claimed the boy was stillborn and that she buried his body - but no evidence of the child was ever found.
Catt, 35, already had two children with her husband when she became pregnant in 2009.
She tried to terminate the pregnancy in 2010 but discovered she had missed the legal limit of 24 weeks.
She searched the internet for infiormation on illegal abortions and abortion drugs and bought a drug used to induce labour over the internet from a company in Mumbai, India, in May 2010.
It was delivered when she was 38 weeks pregnant and she is believed to have taken it when she was nearly 40 weeks.
Catt was arrested in September 2010 and pleaded guilty earlier this year to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.
Catt told a psychiatrist she had taken the drug while her husband was away and delivered the baby boy by herself at home.
She said the child was not breathing or moving and that she had buried his body but has not revealed the location.
The court heard that Catt gave a child up for adoption in 1999. She later had a termination with the agreement of her husband, tried to terminate another pregnancy but missed the legal limit, and concealed another pregnancy from her husband before the child’s birth.
Mr Justice Cooke said Catt could have been charged with destruction of a child and added: “What you have done is rob an apparently healthy child, vulnerable and defenceless, of the life which he was about to commence.
“The child in the womb was so near to birth, in my judgment all right-thinking people would think this offence more serious than unintentional manslaughter,” he said.
Frances Oldham QC, mitigating, described the case as highly unusual and said Catt was a supportive and loving mother to her two children.
Mrs Oldham said Catt had asked her to tell her husband and children that she was sorry and said she would never forgive herself for the effect her actions had had on her family.