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  1. ITV Report

Couple who locked up daughter and subjected her to years of abuse are jailed

A husband and wife have been jailed for keeping their young daughter locked away and subjected to years of sexual abuse.

Swansea Crown Court heard the child was never allowed out to play, never sent to school, and had no friends - and is now so damaged she may never be able to successfully adopted.

The name of the man, who is in his 50s, and the woman, who is in her 20s, cannot be reported to protect the identity of the child, who is now in foster care.

The couple met in a pub in England when the woman was aged just 16.

She fell pregnant within months and they moved to Wales.

Robin Rouch, prosecuting, told the court the family did not socialise with neighbours, the daughter was home-schooled, the garden gate was kept padlocked, and curtains at the windows closed.

The male also controlled his wife's mental health medication and contact with doctors, cut her off from her family and would not allow her to go shopping.

Mr Rouch said he defendant deliberately created the secluded and tightly controlled home environment "in order to systematically and regularly abuse" his daughter without being discovered.

The prosecutor said it appeared the youngster had become "conditioned to see the abuse as normal".

The abuse eventually came to light when the husband and wife's relationship broke down and she told police.

When officers raided the couple's home they found sex toys, pornographic magazines, and newspaper cutting about young girls, along with home schooling books they had used to teach their daughter.

Officers also found more than 70 indecent images of the couple assaulting the daughter on the mother's phone.

Detectives also heard from the man's children from his first marriage who told them he had sexually abused her over an 18-month period.

The court heard his second wife is suffering from "battered person syndrome", a form of post traumatic stress disorder.

A relative of the woman told the court that they had become so concerned the way the husband was controlling his wife, they considered hiring a private detective to find out what was going on - and said she said they wished they do done so.

The daughter of the pair is now in long-term foster care.

Judge Geraint Walters said the husband had "psychopathic tendencies" and a "devious, wicked and flawed personality" - that combined with his wife's flawed personality and vulnerabilities was the "chemistry" that allowed the abuse of the little girl to happen.

He said: "She is so damaged that it is hard to see how she will ever recover from it. Every day brings new challenges for her.

"She will remain forever vulnerable to future abusive relationships.

"She will carry the serious psychological scars for the rest of her life."

The husband was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 12 years after pleading guilty to 16 counts of rape, sexual assault, and causing a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity, the charges involving both his daughters.

The wife was convicted of 11 counts of sexual assault, causing a child to engage in sexual activity, cruelty by neglect, and taking indecent images after pleading not guilty due to duress.

She was given a 10-year sentence with an extended licence period of one year, and was ordered to by detained in a hospital for psychiatric treatment.