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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dad reveals 'nightmare' after pregnant ex told abortion lie so she could sell their daughter to gay friend

Police believe Vikki Gilmore sold the little girl to Chris Yates for as little as £100, after telling former partner Steven North she'd had her pregnancy terminated

A father has told of his "nightmare" after his ex and her gay friend tried to rob him of his daughter, by telling him their baby had been aborted.

Evil Vikki Gilmore convinced Steven North that she had terminated her pregnancy after they separated - but actually had the baby and registered her friend Chris Yates as the child’s father.

Gilmore and Yates were facing jail yesterday after being found guilty of the callous scheme which left Steven in mourning for three years.

The vile pair even invented an online surrogate mother and conned social workers, midwives and a registrar into believing they were the parents of baby Brooke.

Police believe Gilmore, 29, sold the little girl to Yates for as little as £100 as part of the plot described in court as “cynical, calculated and inhumane”.

But Steven’s quest for justice ended in unanimous guilty verdicts on the pair at Perth Sheriff Court.

He had won custody of daughter Brooke prior to the case and as he went home to hug her yesterday, he told the Daily Record : “Our nightmare is over. I’m delighted.”

Steven, 34, allowed us to identify Brooke so that Gilmore and Yates’s scheme could be exposed. He said: “What they did was pure evil.

“They must’ve known the effect this would have on Brooke and me and they still went through with it.

“How could a woman and mother ever think up something like this?

“I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

In the wake of the five-day trial, Steven will demand answers as to why social services and the police let his daughter be used as a pawn in Yates and Gilmore’s sick deception.

Steven had a three-month relationship with Gilmore in 2010 and was “over the moon” when she told him she was expecting – but he was heartbroken months later when she said she’d had an abortion.

He said: “It was like having my heart ripped out because I love having children. She split up with me and told me she was going to have an abortion.

“I tried to talk her out of it and begged her to keep it and I was absolutely gutted when she told me she’d gone through with the termination.

“I mourned and shed a lot of tears because I truly believed my child was dead.”

Gilmore gave birth to Brooke without Steven’s knowledge in February 2011 and gave her to Yates, who wanted a child of his own.

It was claimed in court that he paid between £100 and £300 for her but this was never proved.

The couple signed the birth certificate and claimed to be Brooke’s natural parents, duping Perth registrar Alison Breingan in the process.

Yates, 35, claimed Brooke had been given to him by a lesbian lawyer called Clare Green who acted as a surrogate – but in fact “Green” had been dreamed up by him and Gilmore.

They even set up a Facebook page in her name but pals smelled a rat when they spotted identical spelling mistakes on Green and Yates’s profile pages.

When friends questioned who Brooke’s father was, Yates left Perth without warning and moved to a flat in Glasgow where he brought her up on his own.

Social workers there were also taken in by the ruse but they immediately placed Brooke on the child protection register because Yates’s father is a convicted paedophile.

The Daily Record has seen a legal report in which a health worker expressed concerns for the child’s safety and a social worker admitted she was at risk of sexual abuse.

Steven would never have known Brooke was alive if it hadn’t been for close friend Charmaine McColl.

She saw Yates with the baby and became suspicious because of her uncanny resemblance to her real dad. She told the court rumours about the baby’s real parentage had been circulating in Perth.

Charmaine added: “The baby was the double of Steve – they were two peas in a pod.

“When I told Steve, he broke down. He just cried. He just wanted to make sure that if she was his, to get her home safe.”

Steven – who now lives with his wife and son Tyrone, three – confronted Yates and was immediately suspicious about his surrogate mother story.

Yates even told Steve he had used a turkey baster to inseminate “Green”.

Steven began civil proceedings and won the right to a DNA test.

It proved he was Brooke’s dad and, late last year, he was granted full custody and legal rights.

Fighting back tears, Steven said: “I have missed the first three years of her life – her first steps, first tooth and first words.

“I will never be able to get that again but my wife Dana and I have to help Brooke move forward by providing a loving, stable home to let her rebuild her trust.

“She has been deeply affected by what happened and it will take a hell of a lot of support to get her through it.

“Brooke has trouble expressing her feelings and emotions and I think much of the trauma is bubbling under the surface – she can’t seem to understand what has happened.

“It’s heartbreaking to see but we help her every way we can.

“Dana has been a great support and is a fantastic mum to Brooke – I couldn’t have done this without her help and love.

Gilmore and Yates claimed Brooke was the result of a drunken fling on Yates’ birthday in April 2010, although medics insisted she must have been conceived in May.

Lucy Keane QC, defending, said Yates was bisexual and had truly believed he was Brooke’s natural father. But witnesses said he had never had a relationship with a woman and described him as 100 per cent gay.

Now Steven is demanding answers from the authorities as to how they failed to spot the warning signs. He is especially critical of Perth and Kinross and Glasgow social services.

Steven said: “Everyone involved in Brooke’s care needs looking at but they have all moved on and in some cases been promoted.

“Scotland’s family law also needs a full overhaul – it is at least 30 years behind the times. I spoke with John Swinney about it during my campaign.

“Fathers commit suicide over cases like this because the law is stacked against them. I didn’t give up – but many men do and it’s a tragedy for them and their children.”

After the unanimous verdicts, Sheriff William Wood directly addressed Steven, who was sitting in the public gallery.

He said: “To your credit you have campaigned long and hard. I have been impressed by your vigour and stamina to get people to take you seriously. I hope my remarks can help you move forward with Brooke, your wife and your family.”

Asked what he thought of the sheriff’s comments, Steven said: “I am Brooke’s dad – what else was I supposed to do?”


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