North East Wales

Rhyl couple's suspended terms for abusing own children

A church-going couple have received suspended jail terms for abusing their three children up to 30 years ago.

The couple, in their sixties and from the Rhyl area, regularly hit their children, bathed them in cold water and used washing-up liquid to clean their mouths.

Mold Crown Court heard they read Bible chapters to justify their actions.

As well as jail terms of 52 weeks, suspended for two years, the couple must pay each victim £1,000.

Judge Niclas Parry also banned the couple from having unsupervised contact with children for two years.

The court heard they gave the impression to the outside world that they were caring Christians, and were members of a fundamental congregational church at the time.

However, the husband admitted six counts of cruelty and the wife eight.

The court heard the children would vomit when washing-up liquid was put into their mouths.

They were smacked, and one victim, aged 10, was pulled by her hair by her mother into a cold bath and called dirty because her periods had started.

'Distorted views'

Judge Parry said: "What you have admitted is a betrayal of everything that you purport to represent," he said.

The couple, who cannot be identified, must pay their children, who are now in their thirties and forties, £1,000 in compensation.

The judge added: "You were fortunate enough to be blessed with four children. You abused three of them.

"They were in a most vulnerable position because they were not able to escape.

"You clearly had distorted views on what was appropriate in punishing children, even allowing for the different times between 22 and 32 years ago."

The victims brought the cases to light because they wanted to ensure no other children in the family encountered similar abuse.

Judge Parry said: "These convictions will ensure that over-riding aim has been achieved."