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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 March 2008, 14:53 GMT
Abortion tablets in wife's food
A baker who put abortion tablets into his wife's breakfast to try to make her lose their baby has been jailed.

Gil Magira, 36, crushed the tablets into his 38-year-old wife Anat Abraham's sandwich, a bowl of cereal and a yoghurt, the Old Bailey was told.

Mrs Abraham suffered pain and bleeding but the child survived unharmed.

Magira, of Holmebrook Drive, Hendon, north London, admitted "using an instrument to procure a miscarriage" - the first such charge in 30 years.

He was sentenced to three years and nine months in jail.

The court heard it was the first time such a prosecution has been brought for more than 30 years.

'Desperate and determined'

Simon Mayo, prosecuting, said the defendant had had "constant and compulsive" thoughts about forcing his wife to have an abortion.

His wife said she feared for her life - and that of the child - when she realised what he had done.

"What made it worse was how desperate and determined he was to try to kill the baby that I already felt moving inside me," she said.

I realised I had lived with a person for 10 years who I don't really know
Anat Abraham

Magira was described by his lawyer Jonathan Goldberg QC as an eccentric "Woody Allen character" who regretted what he had done and now wanted to help look after the child.

The defendant's mother, Lisa Or, defended him, saying her son was a "good boy" and terrified of his wife.

When Magira found out his wife was pregnant in November 2006 he panicked and begged her to have an abortion. When she refused, he began looking for abortion medication on the internet.

When his wife was 11 weeks pregnant he put abortion tablets in a sandwich which he then gave to her.

Mrs Abraham felt pain and bleeding the next day and went to hospital, but the baby survived. Magira then put pills into her yoghurt and cereal.

When this too failed, he confessed to a counsellor, who told him he should tell his wife.

"He told her that he was ashamed of himself and he didn't want to hurt her. She told him that she didn't want to see him," said Mr Mayo.

She told him their relationship was over.

In May, Magira took an overdose. In hospital he said "either he or the child would have to die".

In a witness statement read to the court, Mrs Abraham said: "I realised I had lived with a person for 10 years who I don't really know."

The judge, Recorder Oliver Sells, said: "No-one who has heard what occurred can be in any doubt what you were setting out to do."

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