A Warwickshire couple has been jailed for cold-heartedly using the woman’s 12-year-old daughter as an unwilling ‘surrogate mother’ because she was unable to have any more children of her own.
In horrific scenes of abuse, the young girl’s stepfather raped her three times before their deliberate intention of making her pregnant succeeded, a judge heard.
The south Warwickshire couple, who are both in their 30s but cannot be named to protect the girl’s identity, had denied charge of conspiracy to rape and child cruelty.
But on the day of their trial at Warwick Crown Court, the stepfather pleaded guilty to two charges of raping her – and a plea of guilty by her mother to child cruelty was accepted.
He was jailed for 18 years, and will have to serve at least 12 years. The mother was jailed for six years and three months.
We have also not named the specific area where they live to protect the girl’s identity.
Prosecutor Steven Bailey said that after separating from her natural father, the girl’s mother began a relationship with the male defendant, who she had initially met online.
The woman 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: “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 mother would keep track of her daughter’s cycle so she could be raped at the best time for her to conceive.
When, after the third rape, the pregnancy was confirmed by their GP, the mother explained that her daughter had told her she had had sex with a lad during a sleep-over at a friend’s home.
Because of her young age, the question of the 12-year-old having a termination was raised – but ‘both defendants rejected such a notion’ and said they would bring the baby up as their own.
And the truth slowly began to emerge after the girl told a teacher that her step-father had ‘made me do it three times.’ This led to the man, and later the mother, being arrested.
At first the mother said she did not know who the father was, but then claimed it was her partner’s idea to use the girl as a surrogate and that she had told him to leave her alone.
But the girl confided in a teacher that her mother had ‘sacrificed’ her for the chance of a baby, adding: “She made me do it. He raped me, but she asked me to do it, my own mum.”
Amy Jackson, for 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, for the girl’s mother, 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.”
Jailing the couple, Judge Lockhart said: “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.”
He added that there were two victims, not just the girl, but her baby who, having been taken into care, has been ‘deprived of the right to be brought up by her own mother,’ and who may later learn she had been conceived ‘by reason of her grandmother’s neglect’ and rape by her mother’s step-father.