Leeds & West Yorkshire

Seaside trip mum and friend locked up naked boy for hours

Bradford law courts Image copyright Geograph/Phil Champion
Image caption The women, who were described as "wilful and callous", were jailed at Bradford Crown Court

A mother and her friend who locked her young son naked in a cupboard for hours while they went on a day trip to the seaside, have been jailed.

The boy was also subjected to a catalogue of "barbaric and vile" assaults, Bradford Crown Court heard.

During one, the child who was aged four and five at the time, was attacked with a metal stick and beaten with a shoe. The women glued the wound together.

Sentencing the women, Judge Peter Hunt described them as "wilful and callous".

The boy's mother was jailed for two-and-a-half years. Her friend received a four-year term for carrying out the assaults on the boy.

'Considerable violence'

Judge Hunt told the women: "To be confined for hours in a dark cupboard was a frightening and bewildering experience."

The trial heard how the friend, 29, forced the boy, who had been stripped of his clothes, into a cupboard and left him "stranded, helpless" for several hours while the women, and his sisters, went on a day trip to the seaside.

On another occasion, the friend used "considerable violence", repeatedly striking the boy with a metal stick or rod, causing up to six wounds which required stitches at hospital.

In a separate attack, she struck the boy on the top of his head with the heel of her shoe, causing a wound. She then applied glue to the wound in an attempt to cover up what had happened.

The offences were committed over a two-year period between August 2012 and August 2014.

'Highly dysfunctional'

Sentencing her, Judge Hunt said: "Your relationship with the boy was highly dysfunctional. Despite the fact you were not a parent, you took it upon yourself to mete out punishments to him of a very cruel nature indeed."

He said the 40-year-old mother "chose to look the other way", doing nothing to stop the cruelty of her friend.

"As his mother, you were meant to be responsible with the duty to protect this child," he added.

Both women, who cannot be named for legal reasons, were convicted of two counts of child cruelty, while the friend was also found guilty of two counts of unlawful wounding.

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