A paedo described as a "truly despicable human being" has been jailed after he filmed himself sexually abusing a toddler.
Michael Colmer, 45, and his girlfriend Shannon Vicary, 26, discussed the sickening abuse over WhatsApp before he assaulted the child.
When the couple from Newport in Wales were arrested, Colmer was found with more than 600 indecent images of children, including images of the victim.
The mum of the child, who has lifelong anonymity along with the victim, said her family's lives had been "devastated" by the pair's actions, reports WalesOnline.
Cardiff Crown Court heard the couple made sure Colmer would be alone with the child, so he could carry out the abuse and film it.
Prosecutor Matthew Cobbe told the court the couple would "speak of their anticipation about what was to come" over WhatsApp.
He added: "It began with a commentary on a photograph of children in school uniforms of a young age and that commentary became sexual.
"Colmer sent Vicary a picture of his penis and made references to what they were going to do the next day."
Police attended Vicary's home in October 2020, after the National Crime Agency told them someone using an email address at the property had been accessing indecent images of children.
After police arrived at the property, Colmer admitted there were indecent images on his iPad and mobile phone.
Officers found 187 category A images, 144 category B images, 277 category C images and six extreme pornographic images. These children included children younger than 18 months old.
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After the victim was identified, police contacted the child's mother.
Reading out a statement in court, she said: "I feel like a bad parent because because I did not know what was going on and could not protect my daughter.
"I do not understand why these persons did what they did to my daughter. I hope they are never in a position to do this to anyone else. This has devastated me and my family."
Colmer later pleaded guilty to assault by penetration, sexual assault, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, taking indecent images, making indecent images and possessing extreme pornographic images.
Vicary pleaded guilty to two counts of arranging a child sex offence.
Nigel Fryer, who represented Colmer, said there was little mitigation that could be offered other than his client's guilty pleas.
He said: "The reality of his situation is he understands any right minded individual would consider what he has done is abhorrent and he apologises for his behaviour."
Colmer was sentenced to 11 years and four months imprisonment with an extended licensing period of six years, bringing the total sentence to 17 years and four months imprisonment.
He will serve at least two thirds of the custodial sentence before he is considered for parole. He was also made subject to a sexual harm prevention order.
Sentencing Colmer, Judge David Wynn Morgan, said: "This case reveals behaviour by both you and Vicary of an almost unimaginable level of depravity.
"You Colmer have revealed yourself to be a truly despicable human being. No one can assess the level of damage done to your victim but the level of harm inflicted on her mother is enormous.
"You pose a considerable risk of danger to young children."
The judge agreed that Vicary should not be sentenced until the court has had time to review a psychiatric report.
She is due to be sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court on May 28.
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