Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Friday, 9 October 2009 16:06 UK

Abortion drug claim 'improbable'

Dr Edward Erin
Dr Edward Erin denies administering poison

A scientist has cast doubt over a woman who claims her doctor lover tried to give her poison to cause a miscarriage.

Forensic expert John Slaughter said it was "improbable" Bella Prowse would still have a drug in her system a week after the alleged poisoning.

Dr Edward Erin, 44, of Kensington, west London, denies administering poison to his secretary to cause a miscarriage, and other poison charges.

Miss Prowse, 33, claims Dr Erin wanted her to abort the child he had fathered.

Dr Erin worked for St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, as a consultant in the chest and allergy clinic, where Miss Prowse was his secretary.

'Fairly weak' trace

Forensic expert Mr Slaughter had been asked by the police to test a urine sample from Miss Prowse.

He told the jury he agreed with a defence suggestion that it was likely to have left the body by then.

Mr Slaughter said he found a "fairly weak" trace of Methotrexate in the sample given on 8 February last year.

He had discovered an even weaker trace on a pink cup with white spots in which Miss Prowse claims Dr Erin spiked her tea on 2 February.

Abortion-inducing drugs were also found in orange juice and coffee which she has told the court she did not drink in days which followed.

Drugs found

Miss Prowse has told the court that she found yellow powder after Dr Erin made her a cup of Earl Grey tea.

Police later found miscarriage-inducing drugs in the cup and in other beverages, the court heard.

Dr Erin allegedly tried to poison his lover to make her have a miscarriage after she refused to have an abortion.

Miss Prowse eventually gave birth to a healthy baby.

Dr Erin denies procuring poison to be used with the intention of causing a miscarriage between 21 January and 8 February 2008, administering poison to procure a miscarriage and two charges of trying to administer poison.

The trial continues.

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