Briton gets life term for raping his daughters

November 26th, 2008 - 12:16 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 26 (IANS) A British man has been served 25 life terms for raping his two daughters over a period of 20 years by torturing them into silence and forcibly fathering his own grandchildren.During this period, the 56-year-old man, who has not been identified to protect the daughters’ identities, made his elder daughter pregnant seven times, fathering two children by her.

She bore two other babies but they died the day they were born. He made his younger daughter pregnant 12 times. She has five surviving children.

Between them, his daughters suffered five miscarriages and five terminations. Doctors had advised them not to have any more children by the man they did not know then to be their father. The surviving children are not normal.

The case came to light only last year when the younger daughter escaped from their house. The elder daughter escaped this January when the man was hospitalised for an ailment.

Judge Alan Goldsack of the Sheffield Crown Court, where the case was heard, said: “As a result of this case, questions will inevitably be asked about what professionals, social and medical workers, have been doing for the last 20 years.”

The case has drawn comparisons with that of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian whose daughter gave birth to seven of his children while kept in a dungeon for 24 years.

An urgent review is underway into how it was that 10 of the children conceived by the women were miscarried or terminated, yet their plight failed to come to the attention of welfare workers.

The Sheffield City Council has launched an independent inquiry, and the role of South Yorkshire Police, Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police will also be examined. Both councils said that the family was known to them. The court was told of several contacts with authorities that could have raised the alarm.

The indifference of these authorities is being compared with similar neglect that led to the recent death of a 17-month-old boy, Baby P, in the London borough of Heringey. His mother and her boyfriend were convicted for repeated torture of the child, while social carers and doctors failed to detect anything wrong with him.

The women raped by their father told the court that they were beaten and sexually abused since they were 10 and eight. Initially each did not know of the other’s abuse until one of them conceived.

They talked of how he would beat and punch them if they refused to have sex with him. Some of their miscarriages were forced, with the father kicking their abdomens repeatedly, reports The Independent.

In a court statement, the younger daughter said: “He continued to beat me if I didn’t do what he said and I would get a good hiding. There was the look, a piercing look, an evil look.”

The look would scare them. If they still resisted, he would place a knife to their throats and threaten them saying: “It’s never going to end. You have to do what you are told.”

They said the man literally played Russian roulette with them when trying to make either of them pregnant. The sexual abuse would stop temporarily during childbirth or miscarriages. The daughters tried to bribe him with 100 pounds ($152) a month from their child care benefits to keep him off sex, but in vain.

He would not allow them to talk about the abuse to anyone, saying social workers would take away their children if they did so. He would not tolerate them to speak with any other man outside the house. He broke a daughter’s arm once and burnt another’s palm over the hob when he found them talking to neighbouring boys.

He would keep them away from school when they bore physical injuries. In order to hide the truth about his family, he used to shift houses, preferring to live in remote villages in South Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

His wife ran away, unable to bear the sight of her daughters’ trauma. Her whereabouts are not known. They have a brother who used to live with them till his teens. He was made to sleep on the foyer floor. His whereabouts are not known either.

Police investigations revealed the family’s neighbours always had suspicions about the presence of so many children and the absence of any male other than the father. But all these years, they kept their doubts to themselves.

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