Married woman, 32, used fake baby scan photos bought on eBay to trick lover, 18, into thinking he would become father


A MARRIED woman falsely told her teenage toyboy lover he was the father of her child – resulting in his family looking after a baby that was nothing to do with them for more than three years.

Cheating Sarah Dowson persuaded the 18-year-old that he’d made her pregnant – and was only caught out when police unearthed false baby scans she had bought on eBay during an £100k probe.

Today, she was jailed for more than three years.

A court heard the “vengeful” 32-year-old mum fell for victim Joseph Bastin after meeting him at the Chinese restaurant where they both worked.

The court heard that when the teenager told Dowson that he wanted to end their affair, she told him she had become pregnant and started bombarding his mother with requests for child maintenance payments.

When the teenager’s family went to the police to complain about harassment, Dowson lodged a malicious allegation that her victim had raped her.

Her cuckolded husband, who believed the rape claim, backed up her lies.

Judge Morris heard that the lies by Dowson, a mother-of-three, started to unravel when police found the results of a secret DNA test, which proved her husband was the baby’s father.

The teenager had already told his parents he’d fathered a child – and for three-and-a-half years, his family had looked after the baby boy, it was heard.

Prosecutor Simon Jones told the court that Dowson started sending sexual messages to the teenager, who was doing some part-time work at the same Chinese restaurant where she and her husband were both employed in May 2014.

She had sex with the teenager in a wooded area after they went out with the other staff from the restaurant to celebrate his 18th birthday.

Weeks later, she contacted Mr Bastin to say she was pregnant and it was his baby.

Not long after, she told him she was miscarrying his child in a hotel room.

But Mr Bastin didn’t see the messages as he was on a night out – and Dowson believed she’d been spurned.

In September 2015, Dowson told Mr Bastin she wanted another baby – and told him he’d “treated her badly” during her ‘previous pregnancy’.

However, the court heard she may never have been pregnant in the first place – with messages between the defendant and her husband suggesting she’d had a heavy period.

Despite that, Dowson sent her victim several thousand messages over 100 days, at a rate of four messages per day, and threatened suicide if he did not impregnate her.

The teenager finally relented and they had sex ‘four or five more times’, the prosecution said.

In February 2016, the victim ended his relationship with Dowson – and she messaged her husband asking for another baby.

She gave birth to a boy in November 2016.

Throughout her pregnancy, she was supported by Mr Bastin’s mum, Marianne Bastin, who thought the child was her grandson.

Mrs Bastin had received fake scan images from Dowson.

The defendant had bought the images on eBay.

In December 2016, she raised the issue of child maintenance payments, which both Mr Bastin and his mum accepted – once a paternity test was carried out.

Dowson refused to have a court approved test, but instead offered a “peace of mind” test carried out with AlphaBiolabs.

Mr Bastin then called police.

It later emerged Dowson had sent a doctored image, a DNA test result she had changed to make it say Mr Bastin was the father of her child, to the child maintenance service to try and fraudulently obtain payments from him.

But after police called Dowson in for a voluntary interview, she emailed Hampshire Constabulary claiming Mr Bastin had raped her two years ago.

Following the allegation, Mr Bastin was arrested and kept in police custody for 10-and-a-half hours for questioning.

He was further interviewed under caution four times when Dowson later alleged he had been harassing her.

Dowson even doctored emails and Facebook and Snapchat messages to make it look like Mr Bastin had admitted the alleged rape and threatened and kill her.

Mr Jones said: “This has been a deliberate, malicious vendetta against Joseph Bastin.”

Dowson and her husband, a 32-year-old delivery driver, appeared for sentencing at Reading Crown Court.

She admitted three counts of perverting the course of justice and one count of fraud.

Judge Angela Morris said: “It is difficult to find a comparable case of such deliberate acts of deceit against one person.”

The court heard Thomas Dowson, a 32-year-old delivery driver, had “truly believed” his wife’s claims were true.

He admitted one count of perverting the course of justice and received a suspended sentence for nine months, suspended for 18 months.

Sarah Dowson was jailed for three and a half years.


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