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BBC Wales's Hefina Rendle
"The couple had denied rape but admitted indecent assault"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 18:55 GMT
Couple guilty of baby sex assault

A Staffordshire couple have been convicted of raping a five-month-old baby girl from Wales.

The judge at Stafford Crown Court has warned the pair they face a lengthy prison sentence.

During the five day hearing the jury was told how David Souter and his partner Joyce Homer sexually abused the child when she was left in their care as babysitters for 90 minutes while the parents went for a meal.

Souter and Homer, both aged 48, from Rugeley in the West Midlands, had denied raping the baby in August last year but admitted offences of indecency.

After being found guilty by the jury it was revealed Souter had already admitted indecently assaulting two girls as well as a number of firearms offences.

'Disgraceful case'

He was remanded in custody for psychiatric reports.

Homer was detained for pre-sentence reports.

The judge MrJustice Sachs warned them they both face prison after what he described as a most disgraceful case.

Earlier, the court heard statements the couple made after their arrest in January this year.

In them, Souter told police he had indecently assaulted the child and taken photographs.

He told police he knew what he had done was wrong, but he had never raped the child.

'Carefully posed'

"I would never have done anything to hurt a child, and I would never have done it to a thinking, conscious child.

"It was because she was so young and she would never know about it," he told police.

He said that while the photographs depicted him raping the baby, they were carefully posed.

The court heard from a business associate of the couple, Martin Wilson, who handed the incriminating photographs to police after Homer asked him to destroy them.

"She asked me to dispose of them but I wouldn't have been able to live with myself," said Mr Wilson.

A statement from Homer read to the court said she was forced by Souter to pose for the pictures, which he then kept to use against her.

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