The trial of a couple who admitted to concealing the birth of a child has been cut short.

Sophie Harvey, 25, was accused of procuring a poison, procuring her own miscarriage by poison, and attempting to pervert the course of public justice.

Her boyfriend Elliot Benham, 25, was also accused of attempting to pervert the course of public justice. 

Both defendants have pleaded guilty to concealing the birth of a child.

On Monday, Judge Ian Lawrie KC, told jurors at at Gloucester Crown Court that they were being discharged from any further consideration of the case.

He said: “I am going to be discharging you and I do that with a heavy heart. It is a position that is unavoidable.

“I am sorry, things like this do happen.”

Harvey, of St Mary’s Road, Cirencester and Benham, of Wingfield in Swindon, have now been released on bail.

A further mention hearing is fixed for June 14 which the defendants do not have to attend. 

The charges related to events in the summer of 2018.

Prosecutors alleged Harvey, then 19. took a drug purchased to end the pregnancy after learning she was over the 24-week gestation period for a legal abortion in England.

Harvey told the jury she did not take the tablet and the infant was stillborn when delivered naturally.