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'Mother knew father harming baby'

The mother of a baby subjected to a series of ''diabolical attacks'' by her father knew what was happening, a High Court judge has concluded.

Mr Justice Mostyn said he was satisfied that the 19-year-old woman knew that her partner was harming their daughter.

But he said, for reasons he could not fathom, she had chosen not to take action.

Detail of Mr Justice Mostyn's findings have emerged in a ruling - which was delivered in June but not made public until this week - following hearings in the Family Division of the High Court in Swansea.

A local authority with responsibility for the welfare of the girl asked the judge to make findings of fact to help social workers make decisions about who should care for the youngster.

The baby's father, now 20, was given a 12-year prison term at Swansea Crown Court in November after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm to his daughter.

No-one involved can be identified for legal reasons.

Mr Justice Mostyn said the case was the most chilling he had encountered in a legal career of nearly 35 years.

The judge said the man's conduct was ''completely at variance with any understanding of human nature'' and seemed to violate the ''most basic and elemental taboos''.

He said he had never heard evidence so ''macabre'' and described the case as terrible.

He said it was ''providential'' that the girl had not ''perished''.

Mr Justice Mostyn said the man had admitted attacking the girl from the time she returned from hospital after birth until she was four-months-old and had described himself as a "monster".

And the judge outlined a series of assaults which had left the little girl with a ''shocking catalogue'' of injuries including a broken neck, spinal damage and fractured ribs.

He said the family had been living in a ''tiny house''.

And he concluded that the mother must have been aware that ''something was seriously wrong''.

"I am satisfied that the mother knew that the father was harming their daughter," Mr Justice Mostyn said.

"But for reasons which I cannot fathom she chose not to take any action."

Mr Justice Mostyn said the mother had endured a ''troubled childhood''.

He said the man had, by comparison, had a ''more stable and conventional upbringing''.

The judge said the couple's relationship had been ''highly conflicted''.

He said the mother knew how to ''wind up'' the man and had a ''controlling, solipsistic and needy character''.

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