Baby sale mother from Forest Gate has prison term cut
mother jailed after she was caught trying to sell her 11-month-old baby in a News of the World sting has had her sentence almost halved on appeal.
The 29-year-old, from Forest Gate, was caught on camera with the baby’s father agreeing to take �35,000 from a couple working undercover for the newspaper.
In April, after she was convicted of conspiracy to commit child cruelty and holding another person in slavery, she was jailed for seven years at Inner London Crown Court.
Three Court of Appeal judges have now ruled the sentence was too long and slashed the prison term to four years.
Mr Justice MacDuff said the case was far removed from cases of child cruelty when a baby is deliberately hurt by parents.
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The cruelty here was the risk she was putting the girl under by giving her to unchecked new parents.
And the slavery was not in the sense of forced work, but of treating the baby “as a commodity to be bought and sold”, the appeal judge said.
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The story began when the baby’s father told a friend that he had a child for sale and the information was passed on to reporters at the now defunct Sunday paper.
Undercover operatives then posed as prospective purchasers of the little girl and a meeting was set up at a hotel in Stratford in September 2010.
But police had been informed and covert cameras and microphones were fitted in the room where the hand-over was due to take place.
Officers pounced and the woman and the baby’s father, who was not her husband, were both arrested. She denied doing anything wrong.
At her trial, she said the baby was the product of rape and she had felt pressurised by the much older father.
Giving the appeal judgment, Mr Justice MacDuff, sitting with Lady Justice Rafferty and Judge Peter Jacobs, said the court had reason to accept the child was probably the product of rape. To a limited extent, the mother was also a victim in the case, he said.
The father is serving a nine-year sentence.