“BETHAN was my world and being her daddy made me so proud. I miss her so much.”

Those are the words of a grieving father who spoke out today after his wife was jailed for life for murdering their three-year-old daughter.

Bethan Colebourn was drowned in the bath at the family home in Whitsbury Road, Fordingbridge, in October 2017.

During Claire Colebourn's trial at Winchester Crown Court jurors were told she believed her husband Michael was having an affair with a work colleague.

Kerry Maylin, prosecuting, said the defendant made "unfounded accusations" her husband was involved in a relationship with with company's finance director, claiming the pair were planning to take over the business and start a new life together.

Today Mr Colebourn said: “There are no words to describe the past 18 months. The one thing in my life that gave me purpose has gone.

“My beautiful daughter has been taken from me in such a cold and callous manner at the very hands of the one other person that should have protected her and kept her safe.

“The loss of Bethan has had a huge impact on so many people: family, friends, and all that knew her. She was such a special little girl – bringing so much joy to all their lives.

“Throughout the trial, I and all those that loved Bethan have had to endure the heartbreak of listening to her last moments.

"I have also had to suffer endless unfounded allegations and lies made against me with no opportunity to respond.

“I desperately miss being a daddy – we would have such great times together.

"Bethan’s laugh was infectious and her energy was endless. There is not a second in the day that goes by that I am not thinking about her.

“Bethan was my world and being her daddy made me so proud. I miss her so much.”

Last week Claire Colebourn, 36, was found guilty of murder. Today she was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 18 years.

Detective Inspector Lee Macarthur of Hampshire police said: “All our thoughts are with Bethan’s family on this very difficult day.

“Claire Colebourn has taken the life of her own child, which has had a devastating impact on the rest of her family.

“Today’s outcome concludes this very sad investigation.

"I would like to thank all those involved – from the officers and paramedics who attended the harrowing scene that night, to the investigation team that has worked diligently on this case ever since, piecing together the events surrounding Bethan’s tragic murder.”