Married woman, 32, used fake baby scans bought on eBay to fool her 18-year-old lover into thinking he was the father of her child and let his family bring the boy up as one of their own
- Sarah Dowson tricked Joseph Bastin, 18, into thinking he had got her pregnant
- The 32-year-old falsely accused Mr Bastin of rape when he tried to end the affair
- Dowson was caught after police probe uncovered her fraud and false baby scans
- Jailed for three and half years after admitting fraud, perverting course of justice
Sarah Dowson, 32, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, tricked Joseph Bastin into thinking he got her pregnant when they met up for sex in the woods
A married woman used fake baby scans off eBay to fool her 18-year-old lover into thinking he was the father of her child and let his family raise the boy.
Sarah Dowson, 32, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, tricked Joseph Bastin into thinking he got her pregnant when they met up for sex in the woods.
She then falsely accused him of rape when he tried to end their affair, which started while they were working in a Chinese restaurant.
Dowson was caught out after a £100,000 police probe uncovered her fraud and false baby scans off the internet.
Reading Crown Court heard Dowson seduced Mr Bastin with sexual messages while they worked at a Chinese restaurant in May 2014.
They started having sex after his 18th birthday but a few weeks later she text him to say she was pregnant.
She sent him another message not long later saying she was in a hotel room having a miscarriage, but he was on a night out and did not read it which made Dowson believe she was being spurned.
She went on to emotionally blackmail him in September 2015, saying she wanted another baby and he had treated her badly during her pregnancy.
Dowson falsely accused Mr Bastin of rape when he tried to end their affair, which started while they were working in a Chinese restaurant
Prosecutor Simon Jones told the court messages between Dowson and her husband Thomas suggested she had not been pregnant but had a heavy period.
Dowson continued to harass Mr Bastin, sending him thousands of messages over 100 days, threatening to kill herself if he did not get her pregnant.
The teenager backed down and they had sex ‘four or five more times’, the prosecution said.
Mr Bastin tried to dump Dowson on February 28, 2016, to which she replied: ‘You are taking my baby away from me.’
She added: ‘I lied anyway, I thought it would make you feel better about yourself and what I thought you were going through.’
Around the same time, Dowson had sent a text to her husband which read: ‘I want another baby. Not even drunk, I actually do.’
Dowson had a son in November 2016, but was supported by Mr Bastin’s mother Marianne, who thought the child was her grandson.
The fraudster had sent Mrs Bastin fake pregnancy scans she got from a retailer on eBay.
Dowson (left) admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud. She was jailed for three and a half years. Thomas (left)admitted one count of perverting the course of justice and received a nine-month sentence, suspended for 18 months
The images allowed buyers to add customised details such as the date of the scan and the mother’s name and details.
Mr Jones said: ‘The only commonsense conclusion for Mrs Dowson buying fake scan images was that she simply did not have any real scan images because she was not pregnant.
‘On December 17 2016, she was to raise with Mrs Bastin the issue of child maintenance payments from Mr Bastin.
‘Mrs Bastin and indeed Joseph Bastin accepted he would be required to do this. They asked for a paternity test.
‘It was made clear this would need to be done in a way that was court approved. Mrs Dowson refused to have [the child] taken to [get] a sample taken.’
Dowson offered to have a ‘peace of mind’ test with AlphaBiolabs and started asking for her victim to send her a DNA sample, at which point he called the police.
It later emerged Dowson had sent a doctored DNA test result sent to the child maintenance service to try and fraudulently obtain payments from Mr Bastin.
Judge Angela Morris heard Dowson’s lies started to unravel when police found the real results of a DNA test, which she had hidden from the teenager and his family.
They proved it was her husband Thomas, 32, who was the father.
Mr Bastin and his family had looked after the baby boy as if it was their own for three and a half years, the court heard.
Sentencing, a judge told her: ‘This was a mendacious course perpetrated against a young man 10 years your junior, who did not want to continue to have a sexual relationship with you.
‘Your conduct was deliberate and vengeful, designed to cause trouble for your victim.’
Dowson admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud. She was jailed for three and a half years.
Thomas admitted one count of perverting the course of justice and received a nine-month sentence, suspended for 18 months.
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