A paedophile has been jailed for 18 years after raping a seven-year-old girl and threatening to kill her if she told anyone.

Anthony Turner, 31 of Barlows Lane, Fazakerley, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday as his family shouted "love you Ant" as he left the dock.

Earlier in the proceedings, Judge Denis Watson QC shouted at him for glaring at his victim's mother and said: "Don't look at her – don't you dare look at her", the Liverpool Echo reported.

The court heard his victim has since been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as she is unable to deal with the ordeal.

Judge Watson said he had caused her "severe psychological harm" after grooming her and putting her in "deliberate isolation".

He said: "She was threatened that if she told anyone you would kill her and her own mother."

Her mother now fears the impact of the assault will have on her daughter's life as she grows up.

Prosecuting, Frank Dillon, said: "She has been unable to deal with what has happened."

Turner was found guilty of four counts of rape of a child under the age of 13.

Defending, Martine Snowdon, said the four rapes happened over a six month period and was not like other cases where there was "a greater campaign of offending".

Turner was handed an indefinite Sexual Harm Prevention Order and was put on the Sex Offenders Register for life. He imposed a Section 236A sentence, including an additional year on licence, and stringent conditions upon his release.

Judge Watson said: "Your release is not automatic. Your case cannot be considered by the parole board until you have served at least half of the sentence. It may be that you serve more than half, if not all, of the 18 years of this sentence."