Cornwall

Cornwall parents normalised sex with stepmother

Truro Crown Court
Image caption The court heard that the son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became a drug addict and started to self-harm from the age of 12

A "manipulative and controlling" mother and father have been jailed for sexually abusing their children.

Judge Simon Carr told Truro Crown Court one son's life had been "physically and emotionally devastated" by his parents.

At the age of 11, the boy's stepmother had sex with him and intercourse with her became part of the boy's life.

The father admitted a string of sex abuse charges and was jailed for 18 years. She was convicted on multiple counts and was jailed for 21 years.

The court heard the son, who cannot be named for legal reasons, became a drug addict and started to self-harm from the age of 12.

'Drugs freely available'

Heather Hope, prosecuting, said the couple had encouraged him to be naked in their matrimonial bed explaining that it was perfectly normal to touch his stepmother's naked body.

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When he grew older the son was introduced by his parents to cannabis and amphetamines, which were described as freely available.

They had four children from previous relationships and the mother's three other daughters were also targeted, the court heard.

One of the daughters found it extremely difficult to describe the sexual abuse that happened to her from the age of nine, jurors were told.

The mother was found guilty of three indecent assaults on a male, three counts of sexual activity with a child, four counts of offering to supply Class B drugs, one count of engaging in a sexual act in the presence of a child and two charges of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Her husband admitted a series of sexual abuse charges.

A spokeswoman for the NSPCC charity said after the case that the "lengthy prison terms" were "testament to the bravery of their children who spoke out about the wicked abuse they had inflicted upon them".

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