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Tuesday 27 September 2016

Married couple jailed for sexually assaulting 13-month-old girl they were babysitting

'Every parent's worst nightmare'

Ben Kendall

Published 11/03/2016 | 19:44

Cambridgeshire Police undated handout photo of Michael and Lara Chase who have been jailed for a total of 27 years at Peterborough Crown Court after they subjected a 13-month-old child they were babysitting to a series of
Cambridgeshire Police undated handout photo of Michael and Lara Chase who have been jailed for a total of 27 years at Peterborough Crown Court after they subjected a 13-month-old child they were babysitting to a series of "appalling" sex attacks. Cambridgeshire Police/PA Wire

A husband and wife who subjected a 13-month-old child they were babysitting to a series of "appalling" sex attacks have been jailed for a total of 27 years.

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Michael and Lara Chase, of Orton Goldhay, Cambridgeshire, were convicted of sexually assaulting the child at Peterborough Crown Court earlier this week.

The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was 13 months old when the abuse began in October 2012 and it continued until December 2014, Cambridgeshire Police said.

Photos found by police included the victim being sexually assaulted by Michael Chase, 52.

Detective Constable Lloyd Metselaar said: "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.

"The appalling acts committed together by both Michael and Lara on such a young child who had been entrusted into their care demonstrate the most serious breach of trust.

"This case shows the determination and dedication of Cambridgeshire's specially trained officers to bring to justice anyone involved in targeting the most vulnerable in society."

Judge Sean Enright jailed Michael Chase for 14 years and Lara Chase for 13 years on Friday, the force added.

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.

His wife, 46, had pleaded not guilty, saying she was unaware of her husband's paedophilia.

But a jury found her guilty of two sexual assaults and another count of distributing indecent images after hearing that she had assisted her husband in the abuse.

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