Monster couple forced children to eat off floor and scrubbed teeth until they bled in horror campaign of abuse | The Sun

AN EVIL husband and wife forced children to eat off the floor and scrubbed their teeth until they bled in horror campaign of abuse.

Lorna and Christopher Dennington tortured their three victims for over 20 years, relentlessly abusing them if their rules were disobeyed.

The couple appeared in court on Tuesday after admitting multiple charges of child cruelty which were so horrific one victim attempted suicide.

Lorna Dennington, 47, forced a girl to eat off the floor and waved a knife in her face when she refused to finish her meal after being sick.

The victim, who was ridiculed and called fat in front of her siblings, now suffers from an eating disorder years later, and severe mental health issues, she said: "A couple of months ago I did attempt suicide and that was because of what they did to me.

"They made me feel as though I was the problem. The police and the social services, they took me back to them when I ran away. My childhood was spent frightened of what horrible things would happen to me next."

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The 47-year-old also humiliated one girl by checking for period stains in her underwear and would hit her if she found any, all in front of the other children.

Other incidents involving the girls included pulling them from their beds by their hair and dragging them downstairs, in one instance because the girl had her hair cut without permission.

The court also heard of the horrific abuse the boy suffered in the Dennington's care.

When he came home with wet trousers after playing in a river outside, his mother pushed him into a bath and forced the showerhead into his face, whilst she shouted: "If you want to be in a river, try this!"

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The boy struggled to breath during this form of punishment and was later abused with a baseball at the hands of Lorna.

The monster couple, of Bedford Street, Darlington, would injure the boy for coming home late, this included repeatedly smashing his head into a cupboard, hitting his legs and threatening to kill him.

In a victim impact statement, the victim said: "My time living with Lorna and Christopher has deeply affected me. If anybody near me raises a hand I automatically flinch."

Another horrendous punishment inflicted on the children included making them take plaque tablets after brushing their teeth and if any stains were present they would them scrub their gums until they bled.

Lorna would also use an abrasive kitchen pad on their skin during bath time, the court heard.

Prosecutor Michael Morley shared with the court that Christopher Dennington had also drained a child's trust fund account worth £58,000.

The defendant had opened a Santander bank account to store the money in, and only left the boy with £1,000.

The victim said: "I am gutted that the money left to me by my dad has gone. I wanted to buy a house with it."

Another victim said when she saw the couple: "I turned and ran.

"I was shaking in the witness room. This sums up how frightened of Lorna I am."

Defence counsel for Christopher, John Nixon, said Mr Dennington was a "vulnerable" adult who "had difficulty processing information when under stress" and had asked social services for help in the past.

Michele Turner, defending Lorna Dennington, said her client had suffered from childhood trauma, and "she struggled to cope."

Mrs Turner argued when the defendant married Christopher and took in three children, she was "ill equipped for such responsibility" and has since been diagnosed with unstable personality disorder – "the root of all this behaviour."

Judge Jeremy Barnett told the couple: "The children described a household where they would be punished, slapped and suffer degrading behaviour.

"Christopher Dennington basically stood back and watched it and allowed it to happen.

"Christopher Dennington, you dipped into one of the victim's trust fund as and when it suited you. He feels that his money was his passport to a new life and you've taken this from him.

"But Lorna Dennington was the prime mover in this callous behaviour."

The evil pair were both sentenced to 12 months in prison at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday September 6.

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