Forest Gate �35k baby sale pair facing jail term

A Forest Gate mother caught in a newspaper sting when she offered to sell her baby daughter for �35,000 has today been convicted of child cruelty.

The 29-year-old Indian woman and the 48-year-old Pakistani estate agent who brokered the sale both denied conspiracy to commit child cruelty and slavery charges.

But they were found guilty after a trial at Inner London Crown Court. They will be sentenced on May 27, when both have been warned to expect substantial jail terms.

The mother’s husband, 31, was acquitted of similar offences.

None can be named for legal reasons to protect the identity of the child who is understood to be in the care of Newham Council Social Service.

The mother and businessman took the 11-month-old child for a handover at the Viking Hotel on Romford Road, Stratford, last September 22 following a series of telephone conversations with journalists posing as a childless couple.

But police, who had been tipped off by the reporters from a Sunday newspaper, were waiting in the room next door and swooped before the transaction could take place.

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The child was taken into police protection and taken to a place of safety.

The businessman had earlier told a friend he had wanted to sell a child he claimed was his daughter and it was this friend who tipped off the newspaper.

Two reporters posed as a childless couple and agreed a price of �35,000.

During the two-week trial, the businessman was said to have promised a name change and a fake birth certificate for the two prospective parents.

Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs, head of the Child Abuse Investigation Command said: “This was an appalling case where individuals have attempted to sell a vulnerable child for their own personal gain and with no consideration whatsoever for her safety and future.

“We are indebted to our partners in Newham Social Services who joined us in a fast moving operation to recover the victim and remove her to safety.”