Monday, May 18, 2009

Christian father jailed for whipping children

Devout Christian father-of-three jailed for whipping children with riding crop to 'instil discipline'
By Daily Mail ReporterLast updated at 12:21 PM on 18th May 2009
Jailed: A father-of-three was sentenced to 27 months in prison for beating his three children with a riding crop, similar to these
A strict father was jailed for more than a year today for horsewhipping his three young children to 'stop them going off the rails'.
The devout Christian admitted using a riding crop on the children, aged between seven and 12, to make them behave.
The 52-year-old denied it was cruelty, claiming he had whipped them 'for their own good'.
But a judge branded him a cruel and controlling bully whose behaviour towards his children was 'unspeakable'.
Cardiff Crown Court heard he would beat his children if they were late for a meal, were slow in coming home after playing outside or even if they held a salt cellar wrongly.
Prosecutor Martyn Kelly said police were alerted to the cruelty after one of the children rang them.
Officers found two children so terrified when they arrived at the home that they clung to the police and begged them not to leave them.
The three children gave evidence against their father through a video link.
One told the court they would be hit with the riding crop if they disobeyed his orders.
She said: 'He would say go and get ready for bed and we began walking very slowly to get ready then he would hit you with the horsewhip.'
The youngest child said: 'If I wouldn't get ready for bed, dad hit me on the hand with the horsewhip quite hard. It made me feel sad.'
The third added that when he was hit with the crop, it felt like his hand 'was on fire' and always left a mark.
They told the court they would regularly hide the 70-year-old riding crop from their father to avoid his punishments.
The court heard how their father, a qualified engineer from the Vale of Glamorgan, was heavily religious and had studied a four-year university degree in divinity.
The father, who has not been named for legal reasons, said: 'I used it as a deterrent, I'm trying to instil discipline to the children. I don't wish for them to go off the rails.
'I am actively trying to be a good father, to bring them up knowing right and wrong.
'The riding crop is a deterrent. It would be used only on the palm of the hand, never to cause injury. I don't hit them hard - I am extremely careful.
'I've never used it when I've lost my temper or when I've been angry or enraged.'
His lawyer Eugene Egan added: 'He acknowledges that in 2009 it is not legitimate or acceptable to use a riding crop to discipline children.'
He was also found guilty of twice assaulting his partner, the children's mother, who was 20 years younger than him.
Judge Stephen Hopkins QC jailed him for a total of 27 months - 18 months for the assault and nine months for the cruelty offences.
He said: 'Your behaviour towards your children was unspeakable and you are a cruel and controlling bully.
'The fact that you consider it appropriate to hit children with a riding crop, albeit on the hand, demonstrates you are a cruel man.'

No comments: