Illegal fertilization service men avoid jail

Two men who made nearly £250,000 with an illegal fertilization service will not have to serve immediate jail time.  The two men, Ricky Gage and Nigel Woodforth, were given a nine-month sentence, two years suspended.  The men ran their illegal online service out of Woodforth’s basement.

They were convicted in Southwark Crown Court on counts of providing sperm even though they had no license and no third party agreement.  It was the very first case of this type to be prosecuted.  Apparently, around 800 women registered with the online service, which was run under names like First4Fertility and Sperm Direct Limited.

The website introduced women wanting to conceive and would be donors.  The men were turned in by a client who claimed that their services were unprofessional.  It was found later that they had no license to provide sperm.  They claim they didn’t need a license, as they were just a referral service.

The trouble began with one woman who was hoping that she and her partner could have a child when she ordered sperm from the First4Fertilty website.  She paid an £80 fee to join and another £300 to cover the cost of the service per menstrual cycle.  She also paid a courier £150 per sperm delivery, £50 of that was to go to the donor.

When she attempted self-insemination and did not get pregnant, she paid First4Fertility another £300 and planned to receive another donation the next month.  When she received a copy of a doctor’s report with the man’s name clearly visible, she requested a refund.

It was at this time that it was found out the company did have proper licensing under a 1990 law.