A HEARTBROKEN mum has spoken of the devastating moment she discovered her seven-year-old daughter had been groomed and sexually abused by a man she thought she could trust.

Hearing the sickening details of how Ian Taylor, of Alpass Avenue, Bewsey, had preyed on her daughter while she was in hospital with her youngest child is an ordeal that the mum will never be able to come to terms with.

But the news that Taylor was sentenced to nine years in prison at Warrington Crown Court on Friday was described as 'justice' by the mum, who has not been named to protect the victim's identity.

She said: "I was physically sick when I heard the details of what happened. I felt like I had failed my daughter as I was not able to protect her.

"We trusted him and he seemed like he would do anything for us. I am just glad he is off the streets."

Taylor was found guilty by a jury of three counts of sexual assault with a child under 13 and two counts of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity following a trial earlier in the year.

The court heard how the 56-year-old had been asked to care for the victim and her siblings over a seven month period.

But Taylor singled out the victim and would encourage the other children to play outside while he molested the youngster.

The victim told the police that Taylor had also climbed into bed with her and on another occasion had attempted to persuade her to perform a sex act on him before making ‘nasty vicious threats’ in a bid to silence her.

Prosecuting, Matthew Corbett-Jones said: “The defendant told the victim that if she was to tell anyone what had happened she would be parted from her family.”

Years later the victim, who still suffers from nightmares and often breaks down in tears over the abuse, finally found the courage to come forward after revealing what had happened to a friend.

Defending John Banasko said he could say little in Taylor’s defence as he still denies his guilt, claiming that ‘he is innocent and in time that will prevail’.

Sentencing, Judge Raj Shetty blasted the defendant for his ‘disgusting behaviour’.

He said: “You were supposed to be looking after her. You were there to make sure she was safe but instead of looking after her you sexually abused her.

“She is haunted by what has happened. She cannot sleep and this is ongoing. She is still scared of what you might do to her.”

Taylor showed no remorse and shook his head in denial as he was led down to the cells as some members of his family watched on.

Speaking after the sentencing, DC Charlotte Higgins said: “Taylor was in a position of trust and in this case he abused that position of trust for his own sexual gratification.

"His behaviour was totally unacceptable and showed a complete lack of respect for the child he was meant to be caring for.

“Incidents of this nature are extremely distressing for the victim and all those involved.

“We hope that the sentence handed down to Taylor gives him the time to reflect upon his actions.

“Cheshire Police is committed to tackling this type of crime and will do all we can to ensure that those who commit these offences are caught and punished."