Towers
Natalie Towers, 24, from County Durham took misoprostol at her home after 32 to 34 weeks gestationDurham Police

A mother was jailed for two-and-a-half years for carrying out a DIY abortion on herself when she was between 32 and 34 weeks pregnant, using pills she found on the internet. Natalie Towers, 24, of Shildon, County Durham had taken a "massive dose" of misoprostol to force the miscarriage, causing her son to be stillborn.

During her hearing at Newcastle Crown Court it emerged that paramedics found the body of a baby boy, Luke, who was born at least eight weeks after the UK's abortion limit of 24 weeks. Towers pleaded guilty to the single charge of administering a poison with intent to procure a miscarriage.

During a search of her property, police found incriminating evidence including packaging for 92 misoprostol tablets with just 13 whole or part tablets remaining. She had also visited an online drug store in relation to "abortion pills".

The court heard how Towers had called an ambulance when she was at home alone telling an operator she was having a miscarriage. When paramedics arrived she described having stomach pain and heavy bleeding, but "did not appear distressed" the court heard, according to the Chronicle live.

Towers had initially denied knowing she was pregnant, before confessing. It was also stated that she has a history of emotional and psychological problems.

During sentencing, Mr Justice Jay, said: "Both paramedics were obviously distressed by what they saw. This case has nothing to do with the general immorality or otherwise of termination of unborn fetuses.

"Your child, at 32 to 34 weeks had a very good chance of survival, but had no chance once you administered this drug. This offence does involve extinguishing life about to begin."

During the hearing it was revealed that her partner, with whom she shared a home with, did not know she was pregnant. Daniel Cordey, defending, said: "She would not have done what she did if she had been thinking fully, rationally, at the time.

"What she submits is, she didn't realise she was as far pregnant as 32-34 weeks. She is remorseful, she greatly regrets her actions."