Leeds dad caught on camera forcing his two children to fight each other as they screamed in pain and begged for the violence to stop

A dad who was caught on camera forcing his two children to fight each other has been sent to prison.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 4:45 pm

Leeds Crown Court heard a sickening recording of the abuse which was filmed by a horrified neighbour as the boy and girl screamed in pain and begged their dad to be allowed to stop hurting each other.

The 35-year-old father was branded a 'bully' by a judge who jailed him for 19 months.

Giles Bridge, prosecuting, said the incident happened outside the defendant's home in Leeds in June last year.

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Leeds Crown Court

The dad, who the YEP has chosen not to name to protect the identity of the children, could be heard on the footage saying to his daughter: 'Smack him', 'take him down' and 'make him bleed'.

Mr Bridge said the two children could be heard in the background crying and screaming.

The incident happened when the children's mother, who had separated from the defendant 18 months earlier, allowed the youngsters to stay with their father.

Police were contacted when footage of the fight was sent to the mother.

The defendant was arrested and said he had done nothing wrong.

He claimed he loved his children and had been teaching them self defence.

The dad later went on to claim he was suffering from mental health problems and committed the offence after he was given the wrong medication.

The girl was examined and found to have injuries to her ankle and bruising to her arm, legs and chest.

Both children were interviewed by police and said they had hurt each other because they had been forced to by their father.

They said he would become angry if they refused to fight.

Describing the daughter's interview with police officers, Mr Bridge said: "She said it hurt her feelings and she felt sorry for her brother as he doesn't deserve it."

The youngsters described how they were not allowed to go into the kitchen at their father's home because of the mess.

They described feeling nervous when they stayed with him.

The son said he had to sleep on a mattress on the floor.

He said his dad slept a lot during the day because he stayed up all night playing on his Xbox.

The defendant pleaded guilty to two offences of cruelty to a child.

He has previous convictions for domestic violence towards the children's mother which were committed when they were in a relationship together.

He also has convictions for breaching court orders.

Judge Robin Mairs said the defendant had displayed a 'scathing' attitude towards the probation service in the past and had refused to attend a 'building better relationships' programme.

Sean Smith, mitigating, said his client was sorry for what he had done. He said he missed his children and did not know if he would ever see them again.

Jailing the defendant, Judge Mairs said: "You were getting them to fight each other. Not, as you said, because you wanted to teach them self defence.

"You were getting them to fight each other for your own entertainment.

"(Your daughter) explained time and time again that she did not want to. That it hurt her and it hurt her brother.

"But you became angry and forced them.

"I have heard the tapes - 'smack him', 'take him down', 'make him bleed' - these were your children that you were entrusted with the care of."

The judge rejected the defendant's claim that he carried out the abuse when he was suffering from mental illness.

He said: "It is more likely that drink and drugs disinhibited you..

"You represent a danger to your children and appropriate punishment can only be met with an immediate imposition of a custodial sentence.

"You are clearly a bully within a domestic setting.

"You have no compunction about applying violence to, or encouraging violence between, those who are weaker than you."

The defendant was also made the subject of a restraining order banning him from contacting his former partner and children or going near to their school.