The facade of Bushey resident John Maber, who for 18 years was thought to be a respectable prison officer, came crashing down, as it was revealed he was a paedophile who raped a tiny baby.

Police intercepted one of his depraved online chats and raided the 47-year-old’s home, where they discovered films and photographs of horrendous child sex abuse, with the youngest victim at just four months old.

He had also shared his abuse with other paedophiles across the country. Judge Marie Catterson sentenced Maber to two life sentences in jail, with a minimum tariff of 20 years.

Also in July, Gianfranco Zola was appointed Watford FC manager and The Watford Observer revealed Hertfordshire County Council politicians spent almost £200,000 asking paid consultants whether the county-wide street switch-off was a good idea.

The future of Farm Terrace Allotments in West Watford hung in the balance as plans for a new £1 billion Health Campus project were unveiled, and Garston couple Ursula and Fabien Bodeya were finally given an unreserved apology from West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, after their daughter Lhana was starved of oxygen at birth.

The mishap meant Lhana was born with cerebral palsy and has been left with an average life expectancy of 27 years.

Mr Bodeya told The Watford Observer: “Although they have admitted full responsibility, the apology is very short. I still feel angry that I will never receive an apology from the actual midwives who were responsible for this.”