Baby slavery mum and Ilford estate agent broker guilty

An Ilford estate agent has been found guilty of offering to sell a baby to a childless couple for �35,000.

The successful businessman, 48, who cannot be named, brokered a deal between the baby’s mother and the buyers – not knowing they were undercover reporters.

The mother wept in court today as she was told she faces years behind bars for offering to sell her baby.

The married woman, who also must remain anonymous, was ready to abandon the 11-month-old girl with the buyers in a hotel room in Stratford on September 22 2010, when police swooped.

The estate agent acted as a middleman, brokering the sale through a series of taped conversations and promising a name-change with a fake birth certificate for the new parents, Inner London Crown Court heard.

The woman’s 31-year-old husband, who was not the baby’s father, was cleared of involvement in the conspiracy.

The mother and the businessman, who is a successful estate agent, were convicted of child cruelty and slavery over the unvetted adoption for profit.

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Christopher Foulkes, prosecuting, told the jury: “Slavery involves exercising over a person any or all of the rights of ownership.

“No-one, not even a parent, is allowed to own another person.”

The plot came to light when the businessman told an associate, Asad Ali, that there was a “baby for sale”.

But Mr Ali passed the information to News of the World contact Stephen Moyes, and the paper employed a fake couple to pose as customers.

The estate agent, of Ilford, Essex, and the couple, of Forest Gate, east London, denied conspiracy to commit child cruelty and holding a person in slavery between September 1 and 23 last year.

Judge Lindsay Burn remanded the defendants in custody ahead of sentence on May 27.