Baby Deceit Costs Ex-wife £100,000

A businesswoman has been handed a bill for around £100,000 after a judge ruled that she had deceived her ex-husband into thinking he was the father of the son she gave birth to following fertility treatment.

Judge Deborah Taylor ordered the woman to pay £40,000 damages and pick up her ex-husband's lawyers' bills - said to total about £60,000 - after a trial at Central London County Court.

She was told that the man - a lecturer - had earlier offered to settle the litigation if his ex-wife paid him £12,500.

The man had complained that, without his knowledge, the child was created using sperm provided by a former boyfriend - and claimed damages.

He said she dropped the ''bombshell'' when the child, now nine, was five years old.

The woman said there was ''no merit'' in the damages claim.

She said she always thought her ex-husband knew he was ''not necessarily'' the boy's father.

Judge Taylor analysed the case at a hearing earlier this week and ruled in favour of the man today.

She concluded that the man's claim for "deceit" was "made out" and said there had been "deliberate fraudulent misrepresentation" by the woman.

The judge was told by a lawyer involved that the case was thought to be the first of its kind.

She said nothing could be published which would reveal the identity of the boy at the centre of proceedings.

Judge Taylor said the man and woman should be referred to as ''X'' and ''Y''.

The judge was told that the man is in his 60s and the woman is in her 50s.

They live in different parts of the London area. The man also has family links to Bolton in Lancashire, the judge heard.