A businessman with an irrational fear of becoming a father has been jailed for almost four years after he laced his wife's breakfast with abortion pills in an attempt to make her lose their unborn baby.
Gil Magira, 36, from Hendon, north London, admitted crushing up the pills, which he bought online, and sprinkling them in his wife's sandwich, yogurt and a bowl of cereal in an attempt to end her 11-week pregnancy.
Yesterday, at the Old Bailey in London, Magira was jailed for three years and nine months after pleading guilty to a charge of using an instrument to procure a miscarriage. It was the first time in more than 30 years that someone has been charged with such an offence. It was also the first time that a father has been prosecuted for trying to terminate a pregnancy in such a way.
Judge Oliver Sells told Magira: "It was an act which was a terrible aberration. No one who has heard what occurred can be in any doubt what you were setting out to do."
Magira's wife, Anat Abraham was left in pain and bleeding and had to go to hospital after her husband's attempts at inducing an abortion. However, the child survived and their son, Matan, was born in June last year.
Before the sentencing, Ms Abraham had told the court: "When I found out that Gil had poisoned me, I was in total shock. I would have never thought he would have such capability.
"The way it was done seems almost inhuman; the way he pretended to be caring of me fully aware that he had slipped abortion pills into my food; the way he continued sharing my bed and my life as if nothing had happened. I was really scared for the first time in my life. I was scared for my life, the baby's life and Gil's life.
"What made it worse was seeing how desperate he was to get rid of the baby. Every day that passed I felt as if I had bought this baby another day to live."
The court heard that when Magira learnt his wife was pregnant in November 2006 he begged her to have an abortion. When she refused he started to search for abortion medication on the internet.
The following February he put it into a sandwich he had made her for breakfast. After eating it Ms Abraham, who was 38 at the time, went to work in the bakery they ran together in Stanmore but began to feel pain and went to hospital.
The baby survived and so Magira tried to administer the drug again the following day, this time putting the pills in a yoghurt and bowl of cereal.
When that failed, he confessed what he had done to his psychologist, who told him to tell his wife. When Ms Abraham found out, she told him the relationship was over and phoned the police.
Jonathan Goldberg, for the defence, said that Magira had attempted suicide after realising what he had done. He also claimed that Ms Abraham had tried in effect to "blackmail" Magira by telling him if he signed over his two bakeries and restaurant she would not go to the police.