'Miracle baby' a victim - judge

Date: 2004-11-12
Source: BBC

A "miracle baby" was the victim of child traffickers motivated by financial greed, a UK judge has ruled.

The one-year-old, known as C, was taken into care after tests revealed his DNA did not match that of his "parents".

His alleged mother said she bore him with the aid of an evangelist who says he aids infertile couples by prayer.

At a High Court hearing in London, Mr Justice Ryder said the "birth" helped generate funds for the Kenyan preacher from a "deceived congregation".

The UK-based Kenyan evangelist Gilbert Deya is wanted in Kenya over allegations of child trafficking, which he denies.

'Cruel deception'

The judge said that during the so-called birth of C his "mother" - known as Mrs E - was seriously assaulted, "and a live child who had been born to another family was presented to her as her child."

"In a cruel deception to further the financial ends of those involved, Mrs E was deceived into thinking that she had given birth," he ruled.

"C's birth as described was a falsehood not a miracle."

The hearing was held in private but the judge said he was publishing his findings to try to prevent a recurrence of the "cruel deception" and to try to trace C's birth parents.

Mr Justice Ryder granted the London Borough of Haringey a temporary care order of the child, pending a final decision on his future.

The ministries

Mr and Mrs E are members of the UK's fastest growing religious movement, The Gilbert Deya Ministries.

Mr Deya is a self-styled archbishop who claims babies have been born to infertile mothers through the power of prayer.

The church has 36,000 members in the UK, as well as branches in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Mrs E, 38, told the High Court C was the second of three miracle babies born to her after prayers in the church.

The first died soon after birth in Kenya and the third was taken by Kenyan authorities.

Mrs E said medical tests in London had not shown her to be pregnant but Gilbert Deya's wife, Mary, had taken her to a doctor in Kenya who had confirmed that she was.

In each case she described being taken in severe pain to a clinic by Mrs Deya before being examined by a doctor who gave her an injection to make the birth more comfortable.

Extradition request

She said her babies were delivered about 20 minutes after she arrived at the clinic but she never saw the moment of childbirth because of her distended abdomen and her position.

Mrs E and her husband, 47, told Mr Justice Ryder that despite the DNA evidence, faith was the answer to that which medical science would not explain.

Kenyan police allege the Gilbert Deya Ministries is an international baby-snatching ring and have asked the British government to extradite Mr Deya.

They say their investigation revolves around the disappearance of babies from Nairobi's Pumwani Maternity Hospital and involves suspects in Britain, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

In September they took 20 of Mr Deya's "miracle babies" into care in Nairobi after they were found to have no genetic link to the women claiming to be their mothers.

The pastor denies involvement in child trafficking and his lawyer says his client will not receive a fair trial if he is extradited to Kenya.

Gilbert Deya is now based in Glasgow and is claiming political asylum in Scotland.


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