A MAN who severely injured a toddler for his sexual gratification has been given a 17-year extended prison sentence.

The toddler, from North Yorkshire, was in such pain she needed morphine on her arrival at hospital and underwent an emergency operation within hours, Stephen Wood, prosecuting, told York Crown Court on Thursday.

She has since made what doctors believe is a full recovery.

Luke Arthur Jones, 24, formerly of Foxwood and Warrington, pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Judge Andrew Stubbs QC called it an “utterly appalling” crime as he passed an extended prison sentence consisting of 12 years in prison followed by a five-year extended licence period.

He commended paramedics David Butterfield and Dean Roberts for their professionalism in dealing with the “appalling situation” they found when they answered Jones’ 999 call.

The ambulance operator who took the call could hear the girl whimpering “mummy soon, mummy soon”.

Paramedics found the child bleeding, naked, soaking wet, and cold. They comforted her, wrapped her in a blanket and prepared her for the ambulance journey to hospital.

The judge commended them for the way they had handled the “appalling situation” they were confronted with.

At York Hospital, doctors had the child transferred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where she underwent an operation shortly after midnight.

They also called in police, who arrested Jones.

He was sitting on the ground in the foetal position. He told the officers he was expecting them.

For Jones, Graham Parkin said: “There are very, very few things I can say on behalf of this defendant.”

Jones will be on the sex offenders’ register for life and was given a lifelong sexual harm prevention order banning him from any contact with girls under 18, working or volunteering in schools and other organisations for children, and other restrictions.

In a statement issued by North Yorkshire Police, the victim’s mother said: “This has been a really traumatic time for my family but we would like to say a big thank you to the NHS and police force for their help and support during this time.”

Detective Constable Matthew Brownridge, of North Yorkshire Police, said Jones “inflicted horrific injuries on his victim and put the victim’s family through hell whilst trying to cover up what he had done”.

Det Con Brownridge said: “I am very pleased that we have managed to get justice for the victim and their family and I would like to commend them all for the bravery they have shown throughout the investigation.

“There are no words that can make up for what they have been through and I hope the fact Luke Jones will now be behind bars for a very long time will allow them some kind of peace in order to try and move forward.”

An NSPCC spokesman said: “This is a truly horrific case and the pain and sexual violence inflicted on this very young child is unimaginable.

“Babies and young children are completely dependent upon the adults around them and to abuse the trust they have in us in such a vile manner is truly reprehensible.

“Anyone concerned about a child can call the NSPCC helpline on 0808-800-5000 at any time, free of charge. If a child is in immediate danger, please call 999.”