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Jail Term Reduced For Mum-Of-Two Who Aborted Her Baby One Week Before Due Date

14/08/2014 16:50 | Updated 22 May 2015

Jail term reduced for mum-of-two who aborted her baby one week before due date

A cheating wife who was jailed for aborting her baby a week before she was due to give birth has had her jail sentence reduced.

Sarah Catt, who had been having an affair with a work colleague, was jailed for eight years in 2012 after taking a drug to induce an early delivery, before claiming the child was stillborn.

The 36-year-old, of Sherburn-in-Elmet, North Yorkshire, later buried the boy's body but has not revealed where.

Now, the Court of Appeal has ruled her original sentence was too long and cut it to three and a half years.

Lady Justice Rafferty, head of the panel of three appeal judges, said it was a difficult sentencing exercise but the eight-year term was 'manifestly excessive'.

She said that Catt's complicated obstetric history, which involved adoption, seeking termination and concealment of pregnancy, threw up a 'potential for disturbance, personal misery and long lasting difficulty'.

Lady Justice Rafferty referred to a letter of 'remarkable restraint, dignity and loyalty' from Catt's husband, which spoke of his hope that the couple and their two young children could stay together as a family.

She said the facts of the case were 'mercifully, highly unusual'.

At Leeds Crown Court last September, Catt pleaded guilty to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage after it emerged she had bought a drug which can induce labour on the internet.

Original trial judge Mr Justice Cooke told the court the seriousness of the crime lay between manslaughter and murder.

The court was told that Catt's husband – the father of their two children - was unaware of the pregnancy and was not consulted about her decision to have an abortion.

The judge heard that Catt had been having an affair with a work colleague for seven years and that she clearly thought her lover was the father of the aborted child.

She has never revealed what happened to the child except to say it was a boy and that she buried him.

The judge said Catt made a 'deliberate and calculated decision' to end her pregnancy knowing the child could live.

She'd had a scan at 30 weeks confirming her pregnancy at a hospital in Leeds, but suspicions were raised when she failed to register the birth weeks later.

She maintained she had a legitimate abortion at a clinic in Manchester, but analysis of her computer revealed she had purchased a drug called Misoprostol which can induce labour.

Catt pleaded guilty last year to administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.

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