Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Wednesday, 31 March 2010 16:26 UK

Life term for father who raped baby daughter

A father who filmed himself raping his baby daughter has been jailed for life.

The 29-year-old man raped the girl at least twice and carried out other sexual abuse which he recorded on his phone, St Albans Crown Court heard.

In a victim impact statement the baby's mother said: "He is her dad. If I couldn't leave her with him, who could I leave him with?"

The man, from Hertfordshire, must serve a minimum of five years and 291 days before being considered for parole.

He pleaded guilty to rape, sexual assault, taking indecent photographs of the girl and possessing indecent movies of children.

'Horrifying depravity'

The baby's mother said: "When she is older and asks about her father what do I tell her? No words I can use can describe what he has put me through."

David Wales, defending, said: "He recognises his own behaviour was evil. He recognises he has forfeited any rights to regard himself as her father. He expresses his deep remorse for the pain he had caused."

Expressions of horror and disgust are unnecessary, the acts covered by this indictment speak for themselves
Judge Stephen Gullick

Judge Stephen Gullick passed three life sentences and said: "This was conduct of horrifying depravity committed against your own natural daughter.

"Your basic duty, as a father, was to protect her, not to abuse her and to use her as a sex toy for your own sexual gratification.

"Gratification which could doubtless be repeated by being able to look, as often as you wished, at the photographs you had taken of her being abused by you; photographs which you stored on your laptop.

"Expressions of horror and disgust are unnecessary, the acts covered by this indictment speak for themselves."

The judge said that had he not passed life sentences he would have passed a sentence of 18 years, taking into account the seriousness of the offences after a trial.

However because the man, from Abbots Langley, pleaded guilty he would have to reduce that term to 12 years, the judge said.

As a result, and taking into consideration the 76 days the father has already spent in custody, the minimum period before he can be considered for parole is five years and 291 days.

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