A 35-year-old mother of two is facing jail time for self-aborting her unborn baby just one week before it was born.
The Daily Mail reported that the woman, Sarah Catt, bought termination drugs over the internet and aborted the baby in the final week of pregnancy.
She appeared in court on Monday where she was charged with the “intent to procure a miscarriage”. Catt has pleaded guilty to the charge, but is refusing to tell detectives where the remains of the aborted baby lies.
The Mail reported that more details in the bizarre case will be revealed in September when Sarah appears before the Leeds Crown Court for sentencing.
Catt is married to 41-year-old Stephen, the father of her two children, ages 10 and eight. The couple appeared together in court and had both kept the abortion and court case secret from the rest of their family.
It came a “complete shock” to Catt’s father-in-law who described Catt as a “lovely woman”, saying the offence is “totally out of character”.
“She has two lovely children she adores. She would not want to put that in jeopardy or Stephen. She has always been a doting mum. It is a complete shock to us,” said Roger Catt, 67.
He added: “We are not aware of any problems in the marriage. We had no idea about what has happened and did not know there was a court case.
“As far as we were aware everything was hunky dory and still is.”
Police say it is likely Catt was unaware of her pregnancy. she had reportedly gotten a scan two days short of reaching the 30-weeks point in her pregnancy in March 2010.
After confirming she was pregnant, Catt had the pregnancy terminated “in the final stages of pregnancy”.
Chief Inspector Kerrin Smith, of North Yorkshire Police, said outside court ‘many questions remain unanswered’ despite a long police investigation, the Mail reported.
Inspector Smith said the police found evidence on her computer that she’d purchased the termination pills off the internet, saying they “could facilitate the labour and delivery of a child”.
She said: “The evidence shows this to have happened in the final stages of pregnancy within the last week of the due date that this baby should have been born.
“Throughout this investigation [Catt] has claimed that this pregnancy was terminated legitimately even though that would not be legally possible.
“A legal termination can only be carried out up to 24 weeks in normal circumstances unless there are dire medical requirements to go beyond this. There were none in this case.’
Catt pleaded guilty to a charge under Section 58 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act, which in theory carries a maximum life imprisonment sentence, the Daily Mail wrote.
Her charge stated that “between March and June 2010, being a woman with child, you unlawfully administered to yourself a poison or other noxious thing with intent to procure your own miscarriage”.
Chief Inspector Smith said, despite the guilty plea, Catt had refused to tell police what happened. “To date no remains of that pregnancy, nor body, nor child has been traced,” she said.