A mother who attempted to convince her former partner that she had an abortion has been jailed for three years.
During the hearing Perth Sheriff Court had heard that the woman, who had planned to give her baby to her gay friend, may have sold her daughter to him because he wanted his own child.
The mother and her co-accused, who works as a hairdresser and also received a three-year custodial sentence, were described by Sheriff William Wood as “wicked and cynical”.
The sentences were announced to applause from the public gallery.
The sheriff added: “In all respects this was an elaborate and cynical scheme. In the context of this scheme I can see no reason to differentiate between you.
“Neither of you have accepted responsibility for your conduct. You have little insight into your actions and the consequences for others. The maintenance of your innocence does neither of you any credit.
“You persisted in this wicked scheme for a period of almost three years, until [the father] was able to get to the truth. Had it not been for his determination there may well have been further damage to this child.
“The social work report says your conduct is likely to have caused lasting psychological damage, or at least trauma, to this child. You denied her father the opportunity to parent his child for a significant period of time.”
The jury unaimaously found the couple guilty after hearing how they faked an abortion and created a complex web of deceit to deny the biological father his parental rights. They claimed that the baby girl had been given by a lesbian solicitor called Clare Green, who acted as a surrogate. The fraud was so elaborate and convincing that it was initially believed by the father, as well as by social workers.
However, it began to unravel when the real father began to ask questions and DNA tests proved his paternity. Ms Green’s facebook page turned out to be fake and the pair’s story quickly fell apart.
The verdict comes after the natural father’s lengthy struggle to seek prosecution, as the police initially advised him it was a civil matter. Only after making a complaint, and contacting the Lord Advocate and John Swinney MSP, was a criminal investigation opened.
Speaking to STV after the verdicts were returned in May, the girl’s father said: “I am over the moon. I have finally got justice for my little girl.
“It’s going to take years and years of battle to try and make my daughter understand. That’s the biggest part of it that hasn’t really been in the case, the emotional trauma for my little girl.
“Our nightmare is over. What they did was pure evil. They must have known the effect this would have on [my daughter] and me and they still went through with it. I mourned and shed a lot of tears because I truly believed my child was dead.”