A pervert who subjected a vulnerable child to two rapes and numerous sexual assaults has been jailed for 14 years.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that despite the horrendous nature of the child sex abuse he perpetrated on his helpless victim, 31-year-old Robert Lee Wood had failed to grasp the horror of his crimes.

The divorcee, from Victoria Crescent, Maryport, pleaded guilty to two child rapes and 15 other child sex offences, which included numerous sexual assaults and inciting his victim to engage in sexual activity.

The details of his crimes are too disturbing to be published but the court heard how Wood filmed or photographed some of the abuse.

Tim Evans, prosecuting, said the child’s ordeal came to light after police arrested Wood last July for an unconnected offence – and officers examined his mobile phone.

They found it was storing a series of sickening images of the abuse, including a video of him raping the child.

Wood was identified partly by the presence of a distinctive tattoo which was seen on the abuser’s body in the video.

The victim’s mother was told about what had happened a short time later and she went with the youngster to the Bridgeway Sexual Assault Support Centre in Penrith.

When asked about the pictures on Wood’s phone, the child began to cry uncontrollably, said Mr Evans.

The youngster later wrote down his abuser’s name.

The barrister then told the court about a disturbing letter which Wood had written to somebody he knew from his prison cell.

Mr Evans said: “The concern is that the letter seems to betray both a complete lack of understanding of the scale of what he had done... and a lack of anything like the scale of horror and remorse that proper consideration of what had gone on ought to have generated.

“The letter seems to convey more concern and sympathy for his own position than it does for that of the victim.”

Kim Whittlestone, for Wood, said he needed help from the authorities to understand why he had committed the offences. She suggested there was insufficient evidence to show Wood was dangerous.

Passing sentence, Judge James Adkin said the defendant had used the child as a sex object for his own pleasure.

“You don’t seem to comprehend the immense damage you have caused to your victim,” said the judge.

That failure to understand meant Wood represented a huge risk.

Judge Adkin added: “You are clearly a risk to other children... You are clearly a dangerous offender.”

Wood must serve two thirds of his sentence before he is eligible for release on parole and he will only be freed if the Parole Board deems it safe to do so. His licence period will extend for five years after his 14 year jail term expires.

He will be on the Sex Offenders’ Register for life.