‘Ruthless and callous’ Ilford estate agent jailed for attempting to sell baby

An Ilford estate agent who was the “main mover” behind the attempted sale of a baby girl for �35,000 has been jailed for nine years.

The man, 48, who cannot be named for legal reasons, brokered the sale of the 11-month-old girl to two reporters posing as a childless couple with the help of her mother in a Stratford hotel room in September last year.

She sobbed in court this afternoon as she was handed two seven year sentences for slavery and cruelty to run concurrently, at Inner London Crown Court.

The Ilford businessman was jailed for nine years for each offence, also to run concurrently.

Judge Lindsay Burn said: “I am satisfied with what I have heard that the key motive for both of you was financial gain and that the baby and its future was to be sacrificed to this end.

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“The sale conducted by both of you can only be described as ruthless and callous.

“It’s unthinkable in a civilised society.”

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Speaking to the businessman he said: “You were the main mover in these events.

“You exercised a significant degree of influence over the mother, which affected her conduct.”

The estate agent, 48, went to the Viking Hotel, Stratford with the 29-year-old mum, of Forest Gate and her daughter to meet a couple posing as potential buyers.

But the couple were in fact undercover reporters leading them into a trap.

The mother and the broker were caught by police who were listening in the next room.

The woman’s 31-year-old husband, who was not the baby’s father, was also tried but cleared of any involvement.

All three had denied conspiracy to commit child cruelty and holding a person in slavery.

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