A Fylde coast man who sexually abused a baby at bath time has been jailed.
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the child, was jailed for 12 years, with six years extended licence to follow.
His partner at the time was given six months prison for child neglect.
Judge Christopher Cornwall, who was dealing with the case at Preston Crown Court, said: “It is difficult to imagine a more vulnerable and defenceless victim than a baby in arms.
“It is difficult to imagine a more serious or grotesque breach of the trust of that baby”.
The 25- year-old man had been convicted after trial of four serious sexual assault charges.
The 21-year-old woman had denied child cruelty through neglect, but was found guilty by the jury.
Nick Kennedy, prosecuting, said matters came to light earlier this year when the child was admitted to the A & E department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital when she was about 10 weeks old.
She was examined by a doctor who found evidence of sexual abuse.
The male defendant said he would thoroughly clean the child when bathing her while the female defendant told officers she was aware he was being too rough with the child.
The prosecution said what took place was of a sexual nature.
The judge said the police interview had given a clear impression she had put a desire not to get him into trouble, above her duty to protect the baby.
Julie Taylor, defending the man, said that to all intents and purposes, the baby appeared to be otherwise well cared for.
She said: “This is not a case where the abuse has gone on long term.
“His skills and understanding concepts are low. ”
Nigel Booth, defending the woman, said “She had nothing to do with the sexual offending he committed. She knew nothing about it”.
In passing sentence Judge Cornwall said: “She will go through life ignorant of what was done to her, unless someone tells her.
“I profoundly hope they will not”.
The man will be subject to a sexual offences prevention order and will be on the sex offenders register indefinitely.