An Edmonton man was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday for sexually assaulting the four-year-old daughter of his girlfriend.

Darcy Bannert, 26, was convicted of sexual interference, unlawful confinement, assault with a weapon, common assault, uttering threats and two drug charges.

Bannert showed no emotion as the judge read his sentence, which was reduced to five years and eight months in prison because of the 14 months he spent in pre-trial custody. The Crown was seeking a much harsher sentence of 15 years.

According to witnesses, Bannert's victim was repeatedly handcuffed to furniture, systematically tortured and sexually abused.

The prolonged abuse happened in 2005 in the family home, described as the "house of horrors."

The court heard she was denied liquids to a point where she had to drink urine from the toilet and plant water. Graphic details of her sexual abuse also emerged from the trial. She described how sex in a bathtub with "daddy" was a common occurrence.

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Darlene Acton said Bannert showed no remorse and that he was a key player in a systematic plan in an abusive pattern of behaviour.

A victim impact statement written by a social worker said the girl, now five years old, has trouble learning and cannot form normal emotional relationships because of her trauma. The girl is undergoing intense psychotherapy, is on medication for post-traumatic stress syndrome and lives in a foster home.

But social workers describe her as strong and resilient, and say there is hope for her.

The girl's mother, Bannert's ex-girlfriend, was earlier found guilty of assault for hitting the girl. She was handed a two-year conditional sentence to be served in the community.

Bannert, who was himself physically and sexually abused as a child, was ordered to surrender a sample of his DNA for the national DNA databank. He was placed on the national sex offender registry for 20 years.