Woman jailed for cruelty and neglect of her seven children

Woman jailed for cruelty and neglect of her seven children

A woman has been jailed for four years for the neglect and cruelty of seven of her children in the west of Ireland between 2006 and 2011.

Before handing down sentence, Judge Karen O’Connor described the “atmosphere of fear and brutality” she created.

The 39-year-old kept her bowed throughout and made very little reaction as she was being led away.

Her former partner, and father to two of her children, will soon be sentenced after admitting to five counts of assault and neglect.

Update 6.29pm: Her former partner was handed a fully suspended sentence.

It has been three months since the woman, aged 39, was convicted on 29 charges of cruelty and neglect.

During her trial last January, the court heard distressing details of how she used to subject her children to regular beatings with leather belts and wooden back-scratchers.

She used to pour washing-up liquid down the throats of two of her sons and would leave them in the care of strangers for days while she went drinking.

They often went without food. Neighbours used to feed them and buy them clothes.

Her eldest daughter described being held underwater after using bad language.

On another occasion, her mother banged her head against a counter because she had dyed her hair.

The children’s Victim Impact Statements were read out last week.

They described feelings of abandonment, inadequacy and fear.

One of her sons said he didn’t think his life was worth living when he was aged seven.

He said he felt like a punching bag.

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