Page last updated at 21:06 GMT, Monday, 19 October 2009 22:06 UK

Poison abortion bid doctor guilty

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

A doctor has been found guilty of attempting to poison his lover in a bid to induce an abortion.

Dr Edward Erin, 44, of west London, spiked the drinks of Bella Prowse, 33, after she became pregnant but refused a termination, the Old Bailey heard.

The married father-of-two, who worked at St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, west London, had denied attempting to poison to cause a miscarriage.

Miss Prowse gave birth to a healthy baby in September 2008.

The jury found Erin guilty of two charges of attempting to administer poison - once in a cup of coffee from Starbucks and then in a glass of orange juice.

The court had been told tests showed traces of the drug in both Miss Prowse's body and a cup given to her by Erin.

But Erin was found not guilty on another charge of spiking a cup of tea given to Miss Prowse as the jury could not reach a decision.

The Crown Prosecution Service will decide next week whether to seek a retrial on that charge.

Bella Prowse
Bella Prowse thanked friends and family for their support

Judge Richard Hone told Erin: "A custodial sentence is virtually inevitable."

He did not show any emotion as he was taken away.

Miss Prowse, who had become pregnant with Erin's baby after a brief affair, cried as the guilty verdict was announced while her friends clapped.

In a statement she said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Metropolitan Police Service and Crown Prosecution Service.

"I am especially grateful for the support of my friends, family and daughter during this very difficult time."

Det Ch Insp Mickey Gallagher said: "This case is only the second of its type to be brought before the courts in 40 years.

"Bella Prowse is immensely brave. This [case] took a lot of moral courage.

"I have got a lot of admiration for her."

Erin, originally from Caerphilly, south Wales, was banned from working with patients by the General Medical Council pending the verdict.

The wealthy doctor, who also owns a property company, began his affair with Miss Prowse at a Christmas party in 2007.

When she fell pregnant the doctor begged her to have an abortion, claiming if she had the baby it would "kill him and he would have to leave work".

She became suspicious after allegedly finding yellow powder in a cup of Earl Grey tea Dr Erin made for her in January 2008.

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