Exclusive: Father convicted of cruelty to daughter
A FATHER from Hornsey has been found guilty of three counts of child cruelty after physically and emotionally abusing his teenage daughter since she was two.
The jury at Wood Green Crown Court convicted the man following a three-day trial last week in which the brave girl, who cannot be named in order to protect her identity, gave evidence against her father.
The violence began when at the age of two the girl was left on the sofa at home with her father and he struck her so hard it left four red finger marks across her face.
When the girl’s mother returned she asked her husband why he had struck the baby and he told her: “It’s none of your business. She’s my child, I can do whatever I like.”
The abuse continued as the girl grew up, with the man making it a ‘game’ to steal his wife’s attention away from his daughter and to be mean to her whenever possible.
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On one occasion the man, who was frequently unable to control his anger, lost his temper when his daughter was reading a book which belonged to her friend.
He was watching television and when the girl asked about the programme he told her to stop reading the book and watch the programme with him.
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When she kept reading he became angry and ripped the book into two pieces at which point the girl told her father to ‘go to hell’ before running out of the room.
He followed her and ripped down the posters from her wall and said in a fit of rage that he wanted her to suffer.
Another time he verbally abused the girl when she arrived home with a friend later than expected from school. Incensed, the father spat in his daughter’s face and screamed at her, telling her she was becoming more rebellious and that she was getting ‘fat and ugly’ and that he was going to ruin her life.
Terrified, she fell back against the stairs in their home, grazing her back and drawing blood as she fell against a glass panel.
After years of abuse the schoolgirl gradually became increasingly depressed and in September last year she took an overdose of tablets. It was at this point after she was taken to hospital that her father’s actions came to light.
He was arrested at Heathrow Airport when he returned from a trip abroad but denied all allegations against him.
During the trial the court heard evidence from the girl – both via video link and in a film of an interview with police in October last year.
She said: “He would just do anything he could to make me miserable. Anything to scare me to make sure I wasn’t misbehaving in any way. He’d lie to my mum to make me get in trouble. As I got older it became more apparent that I wasn’t in my right mind and I slowly became more depressed.”
She said she was terrified her father would one day kill her and that he routinely hit her and threw things at her, spat at her and called her a ‘slut’.
He would scream at her to get up in the mornings, call her stupid if she did not make his tea or turn on his computer quickly enough. He would also barge into her room without knocking on the door.
The father, who also cannot be named, was found not guilty of three further charges of child cruelty which were throwing a knife at his daughter, hitting her on the chest and smashing up the kitchen after an argument over whether she should go to school or stay at home to help him on one occasion.
During the emotional trial the jury heard evidence from other family members including the girl’s mother and brother.
His Honour Judge James Patrick said in his summing up: “In any view this is a sad case that has brought daughter against mother and brother against sister.”
The father is due to be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on January 7.