Widow upset as appeal granted in sperm battle

A widow who won a high court fight to preserve her late husband’s sperm was last night “downhearted” after the UK fertility regulator was given permission to try to overturn the ruling.

Widow upset as appeal granted in sperm battle

Physiotherapist Beth Warren, 28, from Birmingham, had been “elated” after a judge ruled in her favour following a hearing in London.

But her mood changed when Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) was given permission to take the case to the Court of Appeal.

“Oh dear,” she said. “I thought it was all over.”

Mrs Justice Hogg ruled in Ms Warren’s favour after a trial in the Family Division of the High Court.

Ms Warren said the limit imposed by the HFEA meant that she had little over a year to conceive using sperm which her husband, Warren Brewer, a ski instructor who died of cancer two years ago aged 32, had placed in storage.

HFEA officials opposed an extension to the storage period. They said they sympathised with Ms Warren, who uses her late husband’s first name as her surname, but said Mr Brewer had not given written consent to his sperm being stored beyond April 2015.

Mrs Justice Hogg ruled in Ms Warren’s favour and said sperm could be stored until 2060.

But she later “reluctantly” gave the HFEA permission to try to overturn her ruling in the appeal court. She said the case raised a “novel point” and the HFEA would have until mid-March to make a decision on whether it would lodge an appeal.

A lawyer representing Ms Warren said she “somewhat surprised and downhearted” about the possibility of an appeal.

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