A sadistic couple who ‘tortured’ their disabled toddler during a horrific campaign of sustained abuse just weeks after social services returned the youngster to them were caged for a total of 22 years.
Evil couple Kimberly Harte, 23, and Samuel Duncan, 27, carried out the “systematic and repeated course of abuse and violence” on the terrified three-year-old girl who suffered “horrendous” injuries at their hands.
The couple were led to the cells to screams of “rot in hell!” from the public gallery.
She was forced to eat her own faeces and will be “scarred for life” after boiling water was poured on her hands, causing third degree burns.
The sick couple also yanked clumps of hair from her head, leaving bald patches and open wounds, and kicked her repeatedly in the groin, causing “horrendous bruises” plus liver damage.
The girl, who has cerebral palsy, was also forced to sleep naked in a dark toilet and eat her own faeces in Duncan’s twisted idea of potty training.
She was also malnourished as Duncan refused to let her eat unless she could feed herself with her severely weakened hand, meaning she ate mainly porridge.
Jailing Harte for 11-and-a-half years and Duncan for 10-and-a-half years, Judge Paul Worsley, QC, said: “You betrayed her trust, her love and her childhood.
“The physical scars may well heal in time, but I doubt if the mental scars ever will.”
He added: “That child was only four, that child was loving and affectionate. That child had cerebral paulsey. That child was your daughter.
“You harmed her in ways, which in my judgement amount to torture of that little girl.
“Your responsibility as parents was to protect and not harm her.”
The prematurely born youngster was rescued by social workers when Duncan’s appalled mother called police.
A doctor who examined her at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, found her starving and covered in bruises.
Middlesex Guildhall Crown Court heard Dr Neil Wimalasundera told social workers it was “the worst case of child abuse I have ever seen”.
Eliose Marshall, prosecuting, told the jury Harte and Duncan carried out a “systematic and repeated course of abuse and violence towards the child” shortly after she was allowed to return to the couple’s Maida Vale flat after 18 months in foster care.
The pair scalped her and “kicked her like a football” while Harte poured scalding water over her hand.
Judge Worsley, QC, added: “Each of these injuries must have caused her excrutiating pain and she must have shown her terror and agony at the time.
“Having witnessed that agony both of you failed to secure for her the medical attention she so desperately needed.”
Judge Worsley, QC, said their treatment of the tragic tot was aggrevated only by the fact she had just been returned by social services.
He said: “At the time of your offending you both knew you were under the eye of the social services and had every reason to show more, not less affection to that little girl.”
He added there were “no genuine tears of remorse” and in his opinion if the abuse had continued she would have died.
He said: “I have no doubt her little body would have eventually given out.”
During the trial, consultant paedetrician Andrea Goddard told the court: “The child was severely abused on separate occasions causing excruciating pain, in addition to which she suffered severe neglect and emotional abuse.”
Social services had visited the house before in relation to dometsic violence between the “volatile” couple.
When the child, whoc cannot be named, was taken in by foster carers they referred to her as a “sunny child” who was physically capable despite her disability.
Following the abuse she was left physically incapable of walking.
Harte gave inconsistent explanations about her injuries when social services questioned the couple.
After four hours deliberation the jury found Harte guilty of three charges of causing GBH with intent.
Duncan was convicted of two charges of GBH with intent but cleared of the scalding.
Both had previously admitted three charges of child cruelty by neglect.
Sentencing Duncan, Judge Worsley, QC, said: “I have observed you during the long trial and read much about you and I am satisfied you took the lead in much of the violence that was meted out, although not all.
“You are a selfish young man and on occasion you have behaved in a a brutal fashion.”
For the two charges of GBH with intent he was given eight years concurrently and on the cruelty charges ordered to serve two and a half years, making a total of ten and a half.
Turning to Harte, he said: “Despite all the many difficulties referred to by your counsel you must accept responsibility as a mother for what you did to your daughter.
“The jury rejected your testimony that you were under the control of Samuel Duncan and convicted you alone of count one, scalding her hand.
“I sentence you as being fully responsible for each of those actions.”
She was sentenced to a total of nine years for the three charges of GBH and two and a half years for child cruelty, making a total of eleven and a half years.
At this point one female member in the public gallery screamed: “You bastard, rot in hell. What have you done to this poor girl?”
Jennifer Edwards, in mitigation for Harte, said her mother was an alcoholic and her father committed suicide in prison. She said she had no nurturing of her own, but would “never stop blaming herself” over the abuse.
Philippa Page, in mitigation for Duncan, said he came from a broken home and a lack of a responsible role model meant he often played truant and left school without any qualifications.
Turning to the social services, Judge Worsley, QC, said: “I have anxieties of the way this child was returned to her parents against the express wishes of the foster carers.
“The Westminster City Council’s department for social services has provided me with a document headed Serious Case Review Executive Summary. It acknowledges failures and makes recommendations. It’s reading that inspires hope for the future.”