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Abused children forced to eat hot pepper by parents

Two children were forced by their parents to eat hot pepper as punishments, a judge has found.

The pair suffered prolonged beatings and were threatened with a kitchen knife, Judge Richard Case ruled at the family court in Slough.

The British girl and boy, of Nigerian heritage, have been taken into care.

The parents have been charged with eight assaults and threatening a person with an offensive weapon, the written judgement said.

'Stress positions'

Wokingham Borough Council, which brought the case, alleged the children had suffered 16 instances or categories of abuse.

Judge Case found that 11 events, dating back to before 2018, were proved on the balance of probability.

His ruling said: "The father subjected the children to stress positions.

"This was intended by the father to be a painful punishment... On occasions, if the children moved from the positions, the father would beat them with a cane."

One child made an audio recording of his mother beating him on the feet for more than an hour, the court heard.

This happened "despite [the boy] weeping, crying and screaming and pleas for her to stop", Judge Case said.

The mother then beat the girl over a period of an hour and a half as a punishment for not doing as she was told, the judge ruled.

The children were also caned on several occasions by their father, Judge Case said.

His ruling continued: "The mother made the children eat spoonfuls of paprika and... threatened to apply pepper to their eyes, mouth and ears."

The judge said the boy told an interviewer: "[My mother] basically said that we weren’t crying enough so we were gonna keep taking it or she was gonna put it in our eyes to make us cry more."

The children are the subjects of Interim Care Orders, the judgement said.

Wokingham Borough Council has been approached for comment.

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