Father jailed for 21 years for the 'sadistic' murder of his daughter Alexa-Marie Quinn

Carl Wheatley is pictured with his daughter Alexa-Marie Quinn

A father who beat his four-year-old daughter to death has been jailed for 21 years.

Alexa-Marie Quinn died on 12th March last year after suffering from what a pathologist described as "extreme blunt-force trauma".

Carl Wheatley, 31, from Hatfield, Hertfordshire, was found guilty of murder on Wednesday.

He had admitted manslaughter but the jury at Albans Crown Court rejected his plea of not guilty on the grounds of diminished responsibility.

Four-year-old Alexa-Marie Quinn had been repeatedly beaten by her father. Credit: Family handout

Alexa-Marie had 66 injuries when she died after being repeatedly beaten in the weeks before her death.

Two of her teeth had been knocked out and the jury at Albans Crown Court heard that Wheatley's internet searches included "what glue can I use to put teeth back in."

The supermarket worker had twice been arrested but released without charge for assault, and had been convicted for a public order offence.

His daughter had been in his care for the three months leading up to her death, after being cared for in foster parents. She was taken from her mother when she was two.

Carl Wheatley killed his daughter just months after being awarded custody. Credit: Police handout

Speaking after the verdict, Det Ch Insp Jerome Kent from Hertfordshire Police, told ITV News Wheatley was a "manipulative man who took his frustrations out on his daughter".

He added that Alexa "must have been absolutely terrified in the last weeks of her life - and wondering why she was being repeatedly hit and assaulted by the one person who should have been her protector".

In a statement, Bedford Borough Council said a Serious Case Review is being carried out with Hertfordshire Children’s Safeguarding Board "to examine every detail of this case and make sure that we learn everything possible from Alexa-Marie’s tragic death".

Hertfordshire County Council extended its condolences to Alexa-Marie's mother and family and said "the welfare of children is paramount...we will continue to do everything we can to keep them safe".