Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Monday, 12 October 2009 17:01 UK

Poison charge doctor had DNA test

Dr Edward Erin
Dr Edward Erin denies administering poison to induce a miscarriage

A doctor accused of poisoning his pregnant lover requested a DNA test to discover if he was the father, a court has heard.

Dr Edward Erin, 44, of west London, made the request because when he first slept with Bella Prose, 33, she was in a relationship with another man.

Dr Erin, who is on trial at the Old Bailey, denies giving poison to his secretary to cause a miscarriage.

Ms Prowse claims Dr Erin wanted her to abort the baby boy 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 Ms Prowse was his secretary.

'Big shock'

Giving evidence Dr Erin said Ms Prowse told him she was pregnant four months after they got together after the office Christmas Party on December 2007.

The court heard that two weeks after they first got together, Ms Prowse ended the relationship with the other man.

When asked by prosecutor Sean Larkin if he accepted paternity, Dr Erin said: "There are some issues here.

Bella Prowse
Bella Prowse says Dr Erin spiked her cup of tea

"Recently she went to the Child Support Agency (CSA) and made an application to see if I was in fact the father.

"I immediately went for a DNA swab test to be done. They informed me that, 15 days after that, I should get the result." But when he called to get the results the CSA told him that attempts to contact Ms Prowse were unsuccessful and that the case would be closed if she did not make contact with them.

Father-of-two Dr Erin added on the paternity issue: "I accept that it's possible - and I also accept that it could be this chap David."

He said had "very strong emotions" for Ms Prowse whom he described as "a very nice person" but the news of the pregnancy came was a "big shock".

He told the court they had discussed an abortion but as a previous termination had left Ms Prowse traumatised the issue was "highly-charged" for both of them.

'Ridiculous idea'

When Ms Prowse cancelled an appointment for an abortion they had a row during which she asked him to get a medication to end it, the jury heard.

"I explained it was not that simple. It was a ridiculous idea," he said.

Dr Erin said he offered to make Ms Prowse a cup of tea to calm her down but denied adding anything to it when she pointed out something at the bottom of the cup.

When they met a few days later, he said he got an extra cup to demonstrate how the medication does not dissolve.

He claims she rushed away taking the cup with the medication with her. He also denied spiking her orange juice at office the next day.

Ms Prowse, who gave birth to a healthy baby last September, has told the court she found yellow powder after Dr Erin made her a cup of tea.

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

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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