Boy, 11, ‘made to eat his own vomit’ while in care

AN 11-year-old boy was subjected to a catalogue of abuse, including regular beatings, sex abuse, having to eat his own vomit and having his toys smashed, a court heard yesterday.

The boy, now 13, was allegedly tied up, gagged and whipped while in the care of Sandra Rainford, Leicester Crown Court heard.

Rainford, 52, formerly of Delaware Road, Evington, Leicester, denies two counts of cruelty to the boy in late 2008 – one of willful ill-treatment and one of willful assault.

She also denies a further charge of causing or inciting a child under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

Her 55-year-old sister, Edna Rainford, known as Pamela, of Wand Street, Belgrave, Leicester, also denies two charges of cruelty to the boy in late 2008.

At their trial the jury has heard the boy, whose mother was in Jamaica, had been staying with various relatives and friends until he was left with Sandra Rainford for several weeks in late 2008.

During that time he was subjected to frequent beatings and was regularly tied up naked, the prosecution allege.

The boy said he was also forced to get into Rainford’s bed on one occasion and woke up to find himself having sex with her.

Yesterday the court heard the boy’s evidence, given through a videotaped interview with police. In it he described being forced to eat chilli peppers on some occasions, and on others being made eat his own vomit.

He was beaten, often with wooden sticks and poles, and on one occasion was stabbed in the shoulder with a fork. The boy said Rainford would rub salt or vinegar into his wounds to make them sting. He said: “Sometimes when she has hit me with a wire she gets vinegar and water and puts it in a spray bottle and sprayed it on my back. My back starts stinging and itching.”

He described how the beatings moved to the kitchen after neighbours twice called police when they heard the boy screaming. But when officers arrived, Rainford told them she was alone in the house, and punished the boy if she thought he was trying to be “spotted”.

The court heard the boy was often gagged and tied up naked and beaten with things including a wire and a mop stick, as well as an aerial cord. He said Rainford’s sister also harmed him and threatened to chain him up.

“She came to Sandra’s in the morning to drop off a chain so she could tie me up,” he said. “Pam came and grabbed my hand, and started pulling and pulled it almost like it was coming apart. She let go and said, ‘if you mess with my sister again I’m going to break your hand’.”

He said he was “not allowed to be happy around her”, and toys were broken or smashed, including a Game Boy, games and his mobile phone.

The court has heard that both Sandra and Edna Rainford deny the charges, claiming the boy is lying.

The case at Leicester Crown Court was adjourned until today.


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