Mother and gay friend jailed over baby scam

A MOTHER who helped her gay friend steal her former lover’s baby in an elaborate abortion hoax lasting three years was jailed for three years yesterday.

Perth Sheriff Court. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Vikki Gilmore, 29, Perth, and her friend Christopher Yates, 35, of Glasgow – who was also jailed for three years for his part in the scam – were described as “wicked and cynical” by the sheriff.

The child’s real father Steven North, 34, shouted “yes” when the sentences were imposed and several friends in the public gallery burst into a spontaneous round of applause.

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Sheriff William Wood told them: “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.”

Outside Perth Sheriff Court, a close friend of Mr North said: “He is delighted they have both been sent to prison for a considerable period of time. It is the very least they deserved.

“It is now a case of trying to pick up the pieces and move on with his life with his daughter.”

Gilmore and Yates conspired to dupe the girl’s biological father out of knowing she even existed by lying to him and setting up an elaborate trail to cover their tracks.

The court had heard claims that the mother may have sold her daughter to her co-accused for as little as £100 because he wanted a baby of his own.

Both were found guilty of duping her ex-lover into thinking she had an abortion after she told him she had become pregnant with his child in 2010.

A jury found both unanimously guilty after a week-long trial at Perth Sheriff Court. Mr North, who missed the first three years of his daughter’s life as he battled to win her back, said previously: “I have finally got justice for my little girl.”

During the trial, he told the court he had “mourned” for the child after being falsely told by his former partner that she had undergone a termination to get rid of their baby.

Gilmore claimed she had sex with her homosexual friend and thought the baby was his and he claimed he believed her version of events.

But the jury did not believe the story.

Sheriff Wood told Mr North: “You have clearly been vindicated. It is to your credit that you have campaigned so long and hard for your daughter.”