Mother encouraged partner to rape her 12-year-old daughter so she could be "surrogate mother"

Telegraph Reporters
The man admitted two counts of rape and was jailed for 18 years - PA

A couple have been jailed for using the woman’s 12-year-old daughter as a “surrogate mother” because she was unable to have children of her own.

The girl was repeatedly raped by her step father until she conceived and gave birth to a baby which has now been taken into care a court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted two charges of rape and was jailed for 18 years at Warwick Crown Court.

The girl's mother was jailed for six years after she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rape and child cruelty.

Judge Andrew Lockhart QC told the couple in their 30s from south Warwickshire: "You planned to have a child together, but were told it was not possible.

"You both then decided that one way forward would be for her to become pregnant and for you to raise the child.

"That was a wicked thing to do. It had no regard for her age or for the future damage it would do, or for her welfare or the welfare of any child that might be born.

"This was not just rape, but rape with the intention of ensuring the pregnancy of a 12-year-old child."

The court heard the girl's mother had "actively encouraged her to become pregnant" after she began a relationship with the man after meeting him online.

Steven Bailey, prosecuting, said "an unhealthy atmosphere" developed in their home, with the man mistreating the children and the mother taking his side against them.

The mother had been sterilised, but after the couple began their relationship she asked her GP if it could be reversed, and was told it could not.

Mr Bailey said: "That did not please the defendants, so they decided to do the next best thing.

"With no regard for the feelings of the girl, let alone the baby they were about to force on her, the plan was for him to have sex with her to get her pregnant as a surrogate.

"The girl says her mother told her they wanted her to get pregnant by him, and her mother is on record as describing the pregnancy as a Godsend."

The couple were caught after their GP became suspicious when he confirmed the girl was pregnant and she told a teacher her step-dad had "made me do it."

Mr Bailey said: "Those and other disclosures, including when she told a social worker that he had had sex with her and was the father of her baby, led to her first interview with the police.

"She had been raped by her step-father and was pregnant by her mother's encouragement."

The girl bravely confided in a teacher, saying her mother had "sacrificed" her for the chance of a baby,

Mr Bailey said: "She [the girl] told the teacher 'She made me do it. He raped me, but she asked me to do it, my own mum."

The court heard the man originally denied rape, suggesting his partner had artificially inseminated the girl with his semen.

But on the first day of their trial, both changed their pleas to guilty.

Amy Jackson, defending the step-father, said: "He fully accepts what he did to this young girl.

"He says he's sorry for what happened, and that they should not have put her through it.

"This is a grave and unusual case. It is born of a selfish wish by these defendants to have a child, and the use of a child to achieve those desires."

Nick Devine, defending the woman, said: "I accept this is a serious and unpleasant case. She only has herself to blame, but she has lost everything in her life as a result."

A Warwickshire County Council spokesman said after the hearing: "The county council is considering its next steps in light of the conviction.  The authority and its partners are doing all they can to support the child."

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes