Farmer jailed for 4 years after he starved and beat his 3 children for over a decade
Manchester crown court has heard how a wealthy farmer starved and beat his children for over a decade after suffering a breakdown after two of his sons drowned.
The Telegraph reports that Derek Rawlinson, 80, carried out sadistic punishment on his surviving children for over a decade leading to two of them to attempt suicide.
Rawlinson’s breakdown occurred after his eldest son James then 12 drowned while trying to rescue his seven-year-old brother Peter.
Rawlinson beat and kicked his children with steel toe capped boots the court heard.
The court heard how he fired a gun at one of his children and forced another to hold an electric fence while their mother, Maureen, a nurse slapped them if they complained.
The prosecutor Rob Hall told the court how ‘He became a bitter, violent, controlling man, who focused his frustrations on his remaining children.’
It's understood their mother did little to prevent the abuse of the children and often supported him in his efforts.
Hall continued that; ‘He often seemed to gain strange pleasure from seeing his children suffering. All of the control and bitterness was reinforced with violence.’
The Rawlinsons lived in a €400,000 farmhouse near Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester where Derek played the children off one another preventing them from building trust in one another.
The court how Rawlinson told his daughters how he wished they had drowned instead of his sons.
On another occasion, Rawlinson fired a gun at a couch where his daughter was hiding. When the same child suffered a wound to the head on a separate occasion her parents stitched it themselves using a bent needle.
The judge sentenced Derek Rawlinson to four years in jail and his wife received a suspended sentence.
Judge Maurice Green told the farmer; ‘What you did your children can only be described as the most terrible cruelty that blighted their childhood and their lives- even to the present day.’
Note: If you have been affected by any issues in this story or want to speak to someone you can reach the Samaritans at 116 123 (Ireland) or 116123 (UK)