Eight years for the cheating wife who used drugs bought online to abort baby TWO days before it was due to be born
Sarah Catt, 35, aborted her unborn baby “in the final stages of pregnancy”She admitted administering poison with intent to procure a miscarriageShe was jailed for eight years by a judge at Leeds Crown Court
Convicted: Sarah Catt (front), who aborted her own baby within a week of his due date, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a judge at Leeds Crown Court
A MARRIED woman who aborted her baby in the final week of pregnancy following an affair with a work colleague was jailed for eight years yesterday.
Sarah Catt, 35, successfully concealed the pregnancy from her husband and took drugs she had bought on the internet to end her pregnancy.
She claimed the boy was stillborn and she buried him and cleaned up the bathroom at home without her husband finding out.
However, police inquiries later revealed the baby was aborted just two days before her due date – and the following day she went on a family holiday to France as if nothing had happened.
The alarm was raised because there was a record of Catt’s pregnancy from an abortion clinic’s scan she had after passing the 24-week legal limit for terminations.
She lied to detectives about having a legal abortion at a clinic, but officers have never found the baby’s remains or evidence to show he wasn’t born alive. Catt has refused to say where her son’s remains could be found.
She pleaded guilty earlier this year to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Cooke said: ‘The child in the womb here was so near to birth that in my judgement all right-thinking people would consider this offence more serious than manslaughter, or any offence on the calendar other than murder.’ He told Catt she had robbed an apparently healthy child, ‘vulnerable and defenceless, of the life which he was about to commence’.
He added: ‘This was a cold, calculated decision that you took for your self-interest alone.’
Leeds Crown Court heard Catt had an extraordinary history of secret pregnancies and deception.
In 1999, when she was a second year university student, she hid her first pregnancy from her parents. She quit her maths course, gave birth to a daughter in hospital and gave her up for adoption immediately. She then began the relationship with Stephen Catt, who she would marry in 2009 after having two children.
But in 2000, during the early stages of their relationship, Catt had an abortion with his agreement at ‘around the legal limit’ of 24 weeks.
She did later give birth to a girl, but only after seeking to have a termination when she was ‘too far advanced’. Astonishingly, she also kept a further pregnancy a secret from Mr Catt until the birth. Despite marrying Mr Catt, a 41-year-old electrical engineer, she was conducting a long-term affair with a married colleague at the law firm in York where she worked as an office manager.
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“Robbed the baby of life”: Sarah Catt, pictured in a police mugshot and earlier today, was condemned by a judge
Prosecutor Simon Waley said police discovered the affair when examining Catt’s computer and took a statement from the lover.
The on-off affair had gone on for seven years without Mr Catt finding out, the court heard.
In October 2009 Catt told her lover she was pregnant. He offered to leave his wife to start a family with her but she ended the relationship and in January told him there was no child and it was none of his business.
The couple resumed their ‘occasional sexual relationship’ in June 2010 – soon after she had the home abortionat almost full term.
During more than nine hours of interviews with police Catt insisted she paid 1,700 cash for an abortion at the Marie Stopes clinic in Manchester three days before the legal cut-off date.
Detectives, however, discovered a trail of evidence to show she was concealing a crime. It began in March 2010 when she went to the Leeds branch of the British Pregnancy AdvisoryService with the intention of having an abortion.
Sentencing: Catt was jailed for eight years by a judge sitting at Leeds Crown Court
However, it wasn’t carried out becausean ultrasound scan indicated she was 26 weeks pregnant. Catt had a second scan at St James’ Hospital in Leeds where superior equipment estimated she was 29 weeks pregnant.
Immediately after the scan she did an internet search, asking: ‘Where can I get an illegal abortion’ In AprilCatt ordered an abortion drug over the internet from a company in Mumbai, India.
The package was delivered on May 10 and she carried out further searches about the drug. She took an afternoon off work on May 25 and is likely to have taken the abortion drug then. She is believed to have given birth while her husband was outthe next day.
Catt told a psychiatrist she ‘acted alone’ at her home in Sherburn in Elmet, North Yorkshire. She claimed ‘the child was a boy, was not breathing on birth and did not move’.
The Judge told Catt she had shown no ‘remorse’, commenting that, had she not taken the drug, ‘there is no reason to believe that you would not have been delivered of a healthy boy’.
Mr Catt did not attend court. He is said to be standing by his wife.
VIDEO: Police outside court: “Unusal and disturbing case”… DM.has(“rcpv1845583928001″,”BCVideo”);ONLINE DRUGS AND ABORTION LAW
The dangers of online abortion pills were highlighted by the Daily Mail last year when it was discovered that British firms were selling the drugs for as little as 15.
A Mail investigation found that Women could have the tablets delivered in less than a week, enabling them to terminate their pregnancies illegally and in secret.
It is against the law for the pills to be administered without the supervision of a doctor or specially-trained nurse.
The investigation found that pills available online were far cheaper than having the treatment privately, which can cost up to 500.
Buyers had only to fill in a quick online form giving their date of birth, address, and details of any allergies or medication they were taking.
It is legal to have an abortion in the UK during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, but the abortion must be performed in a hospital or specialised licensed clinic.
Two doctors must also agree that it would cause less damage to the woman”s physical or mental health than continuing with the pregnancy.
It can only be performed after 24 weeks if the woman”s life is at risk, or there is a substantial risk the child would suffer serious physical or mental handicap.