Pair found guilty of trying to sell child for £35,000

Man, 48, and woman, 29, arrested after being exposed offering to sell 11-month-old girl as slave in a newspaper sting

Two people have been found guilty of trying to sell an 11-month-old girl as a slave. A 48-year-old man and 29-year-old woman, from north-east London, were exposed offering the child in return for £35,000 in a News of the World sting in September last year.

The pair brokered the deal in a string of phone calls and a hotel meeting with an undercover reporter from the paper.

A jury at Inner London crown court found the pair guilty of conspiracy to commit child cruelty and slavery, the Metropolitan police said.Detectives arrested the pair and rescued the child after information was passed on by the Sunday newspaper.

Detective Chief Superintendent Gordon Briggs, head of child abuse investigations at Scotland Yard, attacked the pair for their callous treatment of the child.

He said: “This was an appalling case where individuals have attempted to sell a vulnerable child for their own personal gain and with no consideration whatsoever for her safety and future.

“We thank the News of the World for bringing this case to our attention and we are indebted to our partners in Newham social services who joined us in a fast-moving operation to recover the victim and remove her to safety.”

In September 2010, the man told a “friend” he wanted to sell a child he claimed was his daughter, the court heard.

The friend contacted the News of the World and a meeting was arranged with the pair, along with two reporters posing as a prospective couple wanting to purchase the child.

After a number of meetings and phone calls a price of £35,000 was agreed.

Scotland Yard was unable to reveal the pair’s names or their relationship with the child.

A 31-year-old man was cleared of the same offences, a spokesman said.

The pair will be sentenced at the same court on 27 May.