A Durham detective has received national recognition for her investigation into a catalogue of cruelty against three children.
DC Claire Errington was honoured for her inquiry which led to a County Durham woman being jailed for six years after being found guilty of 11 counts of cruelty.
Her partner was found guilty of one count of cruelty after taunting a child.
Durham Constabulary said the woman's campaign of abuse took place over six years.
When one of her victims threatened to tell the local authority the 33-year-old threatened the child and said they would be killed.
The abuse came to light when one of the woman's victims fled her care and was picked up by police.
A paediatrician who subsequently examined the child said that in 31 years working in child protection, he had never seen so many marks and scars on a teenager.
– Detective Superintendent Paul Goundry
"The positive impact Claire has had on the lives of the victims is immeasurable."