A Plymouth couple — Sarah Gotham, 34, and Craig Forbes, 36 — have been jailed for drugging and sexually abusing a girl for months. They were also accused of live streaming the abuse to an American paedophile over Skype.

The reported abuse on the minor girl took place between December 2012 and March 2013, during which the couple had multiple sex sessions in the girl's presence and Gotham even performed sex acts on her, the Plymouth Crown Court heard.

Gotham was found guilty of six charges of sexual assault of a child under 13 and was sentenced to nine years in jail during a hearing on Thursday (26 October).

Forbes, who had admitted to three charges of sexual assault, possession of indecent images and breaching a sexual harm prevention order, was sentenced to eight years in prison.

"Forbes was also convicted on a separate offence of making indecent images of children and breaching his Sexual Harm Prevention Order, imposed in 2015, after a laptop was found hidden in a sofa at his home upon his arrest in 2016," Devon and Cornwall Police said in a statement.

The court heard that the couple live streamed their abusive sessions to convicted sex offender Kori Ellis, 42, in California. They had met Ellis, a former magician's assistant and dominatrix, in a web chat room.

UK police reportedly became aware of the couple's involvement in the crime following Ellis' arrest in April 2015.

The FBI and US police traced Ellis through her online activity to her flat in San Francisco. Upon her arrest, she confessed that she was a paedophile and agreed to co-operate in the investigation in return for a reduction in her sentence.

US police reportedly found sick messages between Ellis and the Plymouth couple on her laptop.

Ellis told the UK court, speaking over a videolink from an FBI building in San Francisco, that she watched the sessions of abuse via a webcam as "shows" and enjoyed them. She admitted to being part of five live sessions.

"Sometimes I would call (the girl) sleeping beauty because she was asleep while they were abusing her," Ellis told police, according to the Plymouth Herald. "I was super-nervous that she was going to wake up. I did not want her to wake up. That would not be good."

Ellis also admitted that she was a "functioning addict" using crystal meth and was in the habit of drinking two bottle of wine every day.