Pair jailed for raping baby

Click to follow

Two babysitters were jailed today for raping a 12-week-old child and taking pictures of the horrific abuse.

Alan Webster, 40, was jailed for life after pleading guilty at St Albans Crown Court to rape, indecent assault, permitting indecent images to be taken of a child and making indecent images in February and March 2004.

His girlfriend Tanya French, 19, was jailed for five years and given an extended licence period of five years after admitting the same charges.

Webster was also found guilty of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl who was a regular visitor to the home he shared with French in Hatfield, Herts.

The mother of the baby, who was introduced to French by a friend, initially refused the couple's offer to babysit.

But as a single mother she needed help to look after her child when she moved home and needed to decorate, the court heard.

The mother was unaware of the abuse until detectives visited her home after finding photographs detailing the horrific abuse at Webster's home.

Sentencing Webster, Judge Findlay Baker said: "These offences were committed against the most vulnerable victim it is possible to imagine - a little baby.

"Much of what you did was photographed so you had a record of yourself living out your depraved fantasies.

"You also befriended a youngster of 14 until she was besotted by you, grooming her in your ways. There are no words to express the abhorrence such offending generates."

Sentencing French, he said: "It seems clear to me that you did not shrink away from the acts in which you joined. Rather, you keenly looked forward to them.

"In your case, these offences are aggravated by the breach of trust placed in you by the baby's mother and of course by the child, albeit unknowingly.

"However, I have to accept you are to some extent a victim yourself.

"Having come under his malign influence you were to some extent corrupted by him and shut your eyes to the fact that what you were doing was evil."

The offences came to light after Hertfordshire Police were alerted by international law enforcers of concerns that Webster had downloaded about 7,000 indecent images from the internet.

Officers executed a search warrant at a house in Hatfield on July 26 last year and found a photograph album containing images showing Webster and French committing acts of abuse.

Webster admitted four charges of rape, five indecent assaults, two charges of permitting indecent images to be taken of children and two counts of making indecent images of children relating to the abuse of the baby.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of indecent assault in relation to the 14-year-old and seven offences of possessing child abuse images.

French admitted one charge of rape, four indecent assaults, two charges of permitting indecent images to be taken of children and two counts of making indecent images of children.