Mother who aborted her baby at 39 weeks sent to prison

A mother who aborted her “vulnerable and defenceless” baby days before he was due has been sent to prison.

Sarah Catt was sentenced for eight years at Leeds Crown Court after pleading guilty in July.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Cooke said Catt would have been charged with murder if the baby had been born a few days later and she had killed him.

Evidence

Following a search of Catt’s computer it was revealed that she had purchased a drug which can induce labour.

She is believed to have taken the drug towards the end of May 2010. Catt claimed that the baby was stillborn and she had buried him, but no evidence of her baby son has been found.

Catt had been having a seven-year affair with a work colleague and reportedly believed the child was his son. She also had two children with her husband.

Serious

Chief Inspector Kerrin Smith, who led the investigation, said she hoped the mother would reveal where the body of her baby is “so that we can ensure a compassionate conclusion to this very sad investigation”.

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 commented: “What you have done is rob an apparently healthy child, vulnerable and defenceless, of the life which he was about to commence.”

The judge also said: “This was a cold, calculated decision that you took for your self-interest alone.”

Value

Pro-life group LIFE commented that “this case illustrates the confusion in the way the law approaches the value of unborn human life and the supposed ‘right to choose’ an abortion”.

The group added that Catt “faces heavy legal sanctions, while abortion up to birth remains legal in the UK in some circumstances, for example if the child has a disability”.

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