A COUPLE who carried out a campaign of child cruelty on two children before one beat a third child have been jailed for more than 10 years between them.

Lisa Pratt, 37, and Andrew Clent, 30, both of Mercury Close, Bampton, had denied two counts each of child cruelty and Pratt had denied one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

After a two-week trial ended on October 13 at Oxford Crown Court, the pair were convicted of all counts and each cleared of another count of child cruelty on a third child.

At their sentencing at the same court yesterday, Pratt quietly wept as she was told her ‘abominable’ crimes were so severe she would have to serve seven years in prison.

Clent showed no emotion as he was jailed for a total of four years for his part in the child cruelty. During the trial, the court had heard how at various addresses in Witney between July 2011 and April 2015 the pair would regularly ‘force feed’ the children by holding ‘eating competitions’.

The court heard how regardless of whether the child ‘won’ the competition they would be made to stand in a corner until their legs became sore.

They were also denied use of the toilet and would regularly soil themselves and be made to feel humiliated, the court heard.

On one occasion recounted by one of the victims he was strangled with a towel until he turned blue and passed out. Events came to a head and police were alerted to the ongoing abuse one afternoon in April 2015 when one boy was beaten by Pratt and shocked neighbours saw ‘chaotic’ scenes in the back garden.

One of the victims said it had been the “saddest house I had ever lived in” and added: “It made me feel really sad and upset and at night time I would cry. I never told anyone because I was too scared.”

The court heard at the sentencing yesterday, how the children had since suffered trauma as a result and now struggled with emotional problems.

Jailing the pair, Judge Zoe Smith said that the acts of cruelty were ‘abominable’.

For one count of child cruelty Pratt was jailed for six and a half years, and a further four years to run concurrently for a second count of child cruelty. For assault occasioning actual bodily harm she was jailed for six months to run consecutively.

Clent was jailed for four years for each of the two counts of child cruelty to run concurrently.