A man physically and sexually abused a baby boy and left him with painful injuries, a court heard.

Kane Fanelli, 27, of Clover Close, Luton, subjected the toddler, who was 18 months old at the time, to a campaign of abuse between May and June 2018.

Doctors found the boy had suffered injuries including bruising, swelling bite marks, burns, cuts and scrapes.

The baby, who lived in Watford, had to be given medical treatment to relieve his pain before being placed under police protection.

Fanelli was jailed for 22 years at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday, October 31 after being found guilty of two counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of sexual assault.

The court heard how on July 1, 2018 the victim was taken to hospital with an injury, where doctors found many painful injuries they thought could not be accidents.

A doctor who assessed the victim said that “in over 25 years of paediatric practice he had rarely seen such extensive injuries in a child” and that the boy was lucky to be alive.

Fanelli was arrested on July 4, 2018 and was later charged in connection with the investigation.

After serving 18 years in jail, he will serve an additional four years on extended licence.

However, he will be assessed prior to release from prison to ensure he no longer poses a danger to the community.

His name will appear on the Sex Offenders’ Register and he will be subject to a lifetime Sexual Harm Prevention Order with several terms which prevent him having contact with any child under 16.

Fanelli is prohibited from contacting the victim, who is now three-years-old and in foster care.

Detective Constable Caroline Bright, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Joint Child Protection Investigation Team, led the investigation.

She said: “This was the most challenging and gruelling case I have ever investigated and first and foremost, my thoughts are with the little boy. He is now finally safe from his abuser and I can only hope the inexplicable cruelty he suffered does not have a far-reaching impact on the rest of his life.

“During his campaign of torture, Fanelli showed himself to be a significant and dangerous risk to children. He consistently displayed a complete disregard for the wellbeing of an innocent toddler.

“I am satisfied with Fanelli’s custodial sentence and am glad he will no longer pose a danger to children now he is behind bars.”

An NSPCC spokesperson for the East of England added: “Fanelli subjected an innocent toddler to weeks of despicable abuse.

“Such vile abuse at the hands of adults can have a life-changing impact on young lives so it is absolutely vital that the toddler receives ongoing, specialist support.

“It’s heartening to hear the youngster is doing well and this must serve as a reminder that we all have a responsibility to look out for children and report any concerns we may have about their welfare without delay.”