Couple jailed for 27 years for 'appalling' sexual abuse of 13-month old girl they were babysitting

Michael and Lara Chase who have been jailed for a total of 27 years Credit: PA

A husband and wife who inflicted "appalling" sex attacks on a baby they were looking after have been jailed for a total of 27 years.

Michael Chase, 52, a security guard and Lara Chase, 46, a pharmacy assistant from Bathurst, Peterborough, began babysitting the girl when she was 13 months old and sexually abused her for almost two years.

Sentencing Michael Chase to 14 years and his wife to 13 years at Peterborough Crown Court, Judge Sean Enright said: "This is the worst abuse of a baby I have seen and the pictures are quite appalling and horrific to look at."

The pair married in June 2014 Credit: SWNS

The court heard how the couple sexually assaulted and took images of a girl they were babysitting between October 2012 and December 2014.

Prosecuting for the CPS, Nicola Devas: "Both the defendants regularly looked after the child and indeed suggested to the parents that they could do that.

"They trusted the defendants with their child. They had no idea at all of the abuse she was suffering."

They were arrested on January 29 last year.

Michael Chase admitted two counts of sexually assaulting a child along with four counts of taking indecent images, three counts of possession of indecent photographs of a child, possession of a prohibited image of a child, possession of an extreme pornographic image and making 4,524 indecent photographs of children.

Michael and Lara Chase were jailed for a total of 27 years at Peterborough Crown Court Credit: PA

Lara Chase had pleaded not guilty, saying she was unaware of her husband's paedophilia and claimed that the pair were now separated and that she would like to see him "hung, drawn and quartered."

But a jury heard he took the images in the same room as her using a flash and her hand was seen in one of the pictures. She was found guilty of two sexual assaults and another count of distributing indecent images on Whatsapp.

I am pleased that the family of the young victim in this case have received justice for what can only be described as every parent's worst nightmare.

Detective Constable Lloyd Metselaar