A woman has appeared in court accused of "child destruction" and "procure own miscarriage by poison".

Bethany Cox is facing two charges following her miscarriage in July 2020 at the height of the first Covid lockdown.

The first charge is “child destruction” - it reads: “On 06/07/2020 at Stockton, with intent to destroy the life of a child capable of being born alive, by a wilful act, namely administering drugs to procure abortion, contrary to Section 58 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, caused the child to die before it had an existence independent of its mother.”

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The second charge is “procure own miscarriage by poison/use of instrument” - it reads: “Between the 02/07/2020 and 07/07/2020 at Stockton being a woman with child, unlawfully administered to yourself a poison or other noxious thing, namely Misoprostol, with intent to procure your own miscarriage.”

The Northern Echo: Bethany Cox arriving at Teesside Crown CourtBethany Cox arriving at Teesside Crown Court (Image: PA)

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The 22-year-old pleaded not guilty to both charges and was given a provisional trial date early next year while psychiatric reports are compiled.

The public gallery was almost full for the 15-minute hearing and Cox was followed into the court building by supporters.

Judge Paul Watson KC, the Recorder of Middlesbrough, adjourned the case until January 15 and listed it for a seven-day trial.

Cox, of Dalmuir Close, Eaglescliffe, was released on unconditional bail until her next appearance in court.