A religious fanatic has been convicted of torturing and beating his children at their Bradford home.
The evangelical preacher put safety pins through his sons’ lips, sliced their mouths with scalpel blades and squeezed the older boy’s tongue with sharp pincers.
A jury heard he used a bucket to catch the blood dripping from their mouths and stitched the wounds with a home medical kit.
The children, now 11 and 13, had clothes pegs clipped on their tongues and the younger lad was struck with a steel rod.
The boy’s devout mother was found guilty of cruelty to both of her sons by turning a blind eye to the mutilation.
The 47-year-old man, who originates from Nigerian, was unanimously convicted yesterday at Bradford Crown Court of nine charges of wounding and cruelty to his sons.
The jury was today considering verdicts on two further charges against him.
The 11-strong panel of seven women and four men are deciding if he locked his older son in a dark room with his legs bound with wires – and his eyes and mouth tied with a towel – and if he swung a pole at the younger lad.
His wife, 38, was yesterday unanimously found guilty of two charges of cruelty to her sons by failing to prevent the insertion, or failing to remove, the safety pins from their mouths. She also failed on several occasions to remove her children from harmful situations.
The jury was today still deciding if she put pepper in the younger boy’s eyes and bathed him in cold water for bed-wetting.
The couple stood impassively in the dock with arms folded as the guilty verdicts were delivered.
Prosecutor Caroline Wigin had told the court the man, a self-styled preacher and former medical student, may have mutilated the boys as his interpretation of religious teaching.
He had told the children God had had his tongue cut off in the Bible.
Miss Wigin had said the couple, who cannot be named to protect the identity of their sons, came to Bradford from Europe in 2003.
The offences continued for 17 months until bruising was noticed on the older boy’s back in February 2005.
He told a learning mentor at his Bradford primary school his father regularly beat him. He said he did not cry or he was abused more.
His younger brother said he was struck with a pole by his father only the previous night.
A paediatric doctor examined the boys and they were taken into care.
The older boy told foster parents he had nightmares about Mum and Dad. He said his father pressed his tongue with sharp pliers so it bled and swelled.
A pair of sharp pincers found by police at the family home had the boys’ DNA on them, Miss Wigin said.
During the two-month trial, the jury saw a video recording of the boy aged ten telling a police officer what his dad had done to him.
He described how he had hit him with sticks and showed how he had fastened a safety pin in his mouth.
His younger brother said he had been left for the night tied to a chair with a safety pin through his mouth and a napkin over his eyes.
He told police his dad had given him clothes pegs and ordered him to clip them on his mouth.
He said his lips were cut with scalpel blades and his dad gave him a bucket to collect the blood.
A doctor who examines asylum seekers for evidence of torture had shown the jury photographs of scarring to the children’s mouths.
She said the scars had been “wholly consistent” with the boys’ allegations.
Miss Wigin had said the couple maintained their elder son was bruised falling downstairs.
The man had said the family had a good relationship with one another and all attended church.
The trial continues.
Original title: Dad guilty of sons’ scalpel torture
Jan. 23, 2008