A couple caught trying to sell an eleven-month-old baby to undercover reporters from the News of the World have been jailed for sixteen years.
The couple, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were exposed in an undercover sting masterminded by reporter Stephen Moyes last September.
The 48-year-old man and 29-year-old woman tried to sell the baby girl for £35,000, but after handing over the baby at a hotel in Essex they were confronted by child abuse detectives tipped off by the NoW.
Today, the 48-year-old man was sentenced to nine years in jail while the 29-year-old woman – the mother of the child – received a seven-year term.
In April they were found guilty of conspiracy to commit child cruelty and slavery.
After the trial, detective chief superintendent Gordon Briggs, head of child abuse investigations at Scotland Yard, 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 thank the News of the World for bringing this case to our attention and 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.”
The NoW was tipped off after the man involved told a friend he wanted to sell the child. The friend then told the newspaper and a pair of reporters met the couple posing as ‘desperate wannabe parents”.
The deal was caught on video by the newspaper, capturing the man showing the baby off to its reporters ‘as if he was selling a puppy”.