Woman is sentenced to eight years in prison for procuring miscarriage

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 19 September 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e6308
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A woman who pleaded guilty to the rarely charged, 150 year old offence of administering a poison or “other noxious thing” with intent to procure a miscarriage has been given an eight year prison sentence at the Crown Court in Leeds.

Sarah Catt, who took misoprostol just days before her baby was due to be born, was charged under section 58 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, which carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Mr Justice Cooke told her that the starting point of the sentence for her “cold, calculated” act was 12 years, but he gave her a one third discount for pleading guilty at an early stage after she was charged. She will …

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