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Man jailed for 'sadistic' murder of his four-year-old daughter

Wheatley with his daughter Alexa Marie
Wheatley with his daughter Alexa Marie

A single father, who gained custody of his four-year-old daughter to boost his benefits, was yesterday jailed for life for her murder.

Carl Wheatley, was sentenced to a minimum of 21 years for the murder of his daughter after the judge ruled that the 31-year-old was guilty of an attack he described as 'relentless and sadistic and to a horrifying degree'.

Wheatley won the custody of his daughter Alexa Marie Quinn in January 2014 after a long battle with the local council to get the child from foster care. The child had been removed from the mother several years ago. He had also told a co-worker that he would get a two-bedroom house now and extra benefits if he won custody.

Wheatley was also looking for custody of his three-year-old son from another relationshiop but that bid failed and the judge cited his frustration at not getting his son as fuelling the attack on his daughter.

In March 2014, Wheatley began a series of attacks on his daughter. Adrian Foster, the Chief Crown Prosecutor, told the court: 'The prosecution case was that her death was not caused by a sudden moment of frustration and a single severe blow, but a sustained period of hard hitting which intended to cause her really serious harm.

'The truth is that the fatal injuries Wheatley caused were the culmination of a series of violent acts by him towards his defenceless daughter.

The post mortem found 65 separate bruise marks all over the child's body, but the pathologist ruled it was the 66th bruise that had caused her death.  

Wheatley went to great lengths to hide the injuries, even searching the internet for the chilling phrase 'what glue can I use to put teeth back in'.

Wheatley denied it was murder, instead claiming he was in a 'trap of escalating hitting'.

However, the jury dismissed his plea and found him guilty of his daughter's death.

A statement from her mother was read in court:  'My daughter Alexa-Marie was a wonderful little girl. She was funny, loving and a child you could never be angry with. She was beautiful on the inside and out.

'Myself and my extended family have been deeply traumatised by what Carl Wheatley has done.

'He has taken away an angel, a little girl so precious and our lives will never be the same.

'How anyone could cause such pain and suffering to someone so young and so sweet is truly beyond me.

'Alexa-Marie was taken from us in the cruellest of ways. We have been sentenced to a lifetime of pain knowing that we won't ever see her again.

'She will never have the chance to make daisy chains or go to a school prom and we will never be able to celebrate happy occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas and Mother's Day, because of what this man has done.'

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