A MOTHER “plumbed the very depths of depravity” by sexually abusing her infant daughter and sending pictures of her actions to an internet friend, York Crown Court heard.

The woman is now serving nine years for a series of offences involving the little girl. A judge ruled she must not be named, so the young victim's anonymity can be protected.

Her internet friend, Paul Whalley, below, who had downloaded indecent images of other children, searched the internet for incestuous images and filmed another woman secretly in a bathroom, was jailed for six years and six months.

York Press:

Jon Gregg, prosecuting, said he encouraged the mother in the sexual abuse while she was doing it, and after receiving the last picture, sent a chatroom message to her saying “Night, night baby, love this, xxx.” They had met through an online dating agency.

Judge Paul Batty QC told the woman: “The most serious aspects of the case are the gross breach of trust, the serious nature of the sexual activity involving your little girl and of course the distribution of that material to your co-defendant for his, and I am satisfied, your, sexual gratification.

“Your actions, in my judgement, plumbed the very depths of depravity.”

The woman, aged 38, from between York and Leeds, pleaded guilty to two charges of involving a small child in sexual activity and three each of making and distributing indecent images of a child.

Whalley, aged 30, of Newcastle-under-Lyme, pleaded guilty to inciting her to perform sexual activity with a child, downloading indecent images of the daughter, voyeurism of another woman and four charges of downloading indecent images of other children.

Both were put on the sex offenders’ register for life and made subject to sexual harm prevention orders restricting their activities when they are released. The daughter has been taken into care and her mother banned from contacting her in any way, unless the Family Court allows it.

For the mother, Glenn Parsons said she was ashamed and disgusted by her actions which had happened when she had been looking for love on the internet.

She had been the victim of repeated sexual and violent abuse herself for many years by her partner, which had “sapped her will” and left her isolated, depressed and alone.

“It is clear she has been urged into this conduct by Paul Whalley," said Mr Parsons. "Had it not been for him, she would not have been involved in this behaviour.” She had not instigated the sexual abuse, he said.

But the judge said: “She was more than willing to engage in this disgusting and debauched behaviour with him.”

For Whalley, Rob Halt said his relationship had broken up shortly before the offences.

“He descended into a very dark place, fuelled by alcohol consumption,” he said.

That led to him getting interested in adult pornography which led him to indecent images of children. He had no idea why he had committed the offences, which he saw as a “terrible, horrible mistake”.

DC Rebecca Smith from the Harrogate Serious Crime Team, said: “No child should ever have to suffer the abuse inflicted by those two offenders. What they did was unspeakable and incomprehensible and the court result today means they can no longer cause harm and misery to anyone.

“North Yorkshire Police will work relentlessly around the clock to make sure people who pose a threat to our children face the full force of the law.”

The judge said the mother should not be named to protect the child as the only way to prevent the girl's identity being known.