British Fritzl Jailed For 30-Year Rape Regime Over Daughters
A man who fathered nine children with two of his own daughters has been sentenced to life in prison after admitting raping the girls over a 30-year period.
The father has been compared with the Austrian rapist Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter locked in a dungeon for 24 years as he fathered seven children with her.
The self-employed businessman, from Sheffield, got his daughters pregnant 19 times and nine children were born. Seven of the children are still alive.
Police and social services have started an independent review into allegations that officials were first told of the abuse more than 20 years ago.
The rapes started when the girls were aged about eight. The abuse only ended in February this year when police finally arrested the father, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughters and grandchildren but will serve a minimum term of 19 and a half years.
The 56-year-old man moved his family around the country so the girls never remained in one place long enough to make friends in whom they could confide.
Relatives of the family claim they told police of the abuse after the birth of the first child, but officers failed to act. They say the girls’ grandmother was told she could be sued for slander for telling officers that the girl’s father had got her pregnant.
The rapist’s sister-in-law told a local newspaper: “The police could have stopped it. They let those girls down. Our family has gone to the police a number of times over the years.
“We all suspected what was going on, did not agree with it, and it was reported to the police when the oldest daughter first gave birth.
“People may ask, ‘How could the family not do anything about this?’. But we tried to get it to stop. We went to the police but nothing was done.”
Concerns were raised when the oldest daughter’s school became suspicious about her upbringing when she arrived for lessons hungry and covered in bruises aged around 10.
But when staff raised the matter the father pulled his daughters out of school and moved the family to another area.
“They were always moving around whenever anyone got close and he thought the dirty secret would get out,” added the sister-in-law.
She said the girl’s mother had left the marriage because it was an abusive relationship and her daughters were turned against her.
“Her husband was wicked – he would beat her up, lock her in the house and throw her down the stairs. He was a violent, violent man. On the day she left he threw her down the stairs.
“The dad turned the girls against their mum and although we suspected what was happening, the girls never said anything, probably through fear of what he would do.”
The relatives said police were also involved when the youngest daughter was around five, and was taken to hospital with a broken leg after allegedly being thrown down the stairs by her father.
The rapist’s eldest daughter told The Sun that the indecent assaults started when she was aged about five.
“It was going on for years, but I didn’t know my younger sister was also being abused until much later,” she said.
“Despite being born out of hate we love our kids and always will. I am having to try to tell my kids, but it is going to be very difficult.”
The father has pleaded guilty to nine rapes and two indecent assaults against his oldest daughter and 16 rapes against the youngest. He denied two charges of indecent assault and one of rape – insisting the assaults did not start as early as his victims claimed.
The prosecution accepted the pleas to spare them the trauma of being questioned in court.
Nicholas Campbell, QC, prosecuting, told Sheffield Crown Court last month that the daughters had several miscarriages, while some pregnancies were terminated when screenings picked up abnormalities with the foetuses. Nine children were born but two died within hours.
David Blunkett, the Sheffield MP and former Home Secretary, has called for an inquiry into all the organisation and services involved with the family.
“Who knew, what they knew, and above all what they did about it, has to be top of the agenda,” he said.
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The incest allegations have been rigorously and thoroughly investigated, supported by the Sheffield Safeguarding Children’s Board and partner agencies.
“An independent review has been announced by Sheffield Council into the circumstances, examining the work of agencies involved. South Yorkshire Police will support the review. It would be inappropriate to comment further.”