A paedophile who carried out a life-threatening sexual assault on a toddler after social services failed to conduct background checks has been jailed for seventeen and a half years.
Christopher Atkins remained impassive in the dock at Nottingham Crown Court as the city's most senior judge described the 32-year-old's offending as being "almost beyond comprehension".
Atkins, from Cotgrave, Nottinghamshire, committed the "wicked and vile" sex attack two years ago after lying to social services about his personal life.
After Atkins was found guilty of sexual assault in July, it emerged that he was already known to the authorities before the offence, having been suspected of abusing another child in the Manchester area.
Sentencing Atkins, the Recorder of Nottingham, Michael Stokes QC, told him: "The child in this case was a vulnerable, innocent little girl when you committed an offence of unspeakable cruelty and perversion, an offence which all right-minded people would regard as repellent.
"You are in my judgment a predatory and sadistic paedophile and unless whatever issues you have are addressed you will present a serious risk of causing harm to other children.
"How any human being could do this to a little girl is almost beyond comprehension, but the fact is you did.
"I have no doubt that you would have been content for the grievously injured child to go without medical attention of any kind."
Atkins, whose offences will now be the subject of a serious case review, was sentenced to 16 years for sexual assault and a consecutive 18-month term for child cruelty.
Atkins, formerly of Westway, Cotgrave, was told he must serve half his sentence before being released on licence.
The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was treated for severe internal injuries after being taken to hospital, where medical staff also found 18 bruises on her face and scalding to her back.
Detective Inspector Yvonne Dales, of Nottinghamshire's Child Abuse Investigation Unit, said: "Christopher Atkins was a sadistic and controlling individual who put a defenceless child through untold pain and suffering.
"I hope this sentence sends out a message to people who commit offences against children - we will do everything we can to make sure they are brought to justice."
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