Shortly after a meeting with a fortune teller, a British woman locked her children in their rooms, confiscated their lightbulbs, toys and mattresses and later made two of them work as slaves for Roma people, otherwise known as gypsies, prosecutors said. The abuse apparently lasted for six years.
Linda Clappison, of Keyingham Marsh, East Yorkshire, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty. She was sentenced to three years in prison, according to the Telegraph. Before a fortune teller told her to submit her children to this abuse, Clappison was a fine mother, her children testified.
But after the meeting, her son Andrew Clappison, now 18, told the court, "We were treated like dogs."
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Clappison denied the charges and called her children, "liars."
Judge Michael Mettyear openly chastised Clappison for her crime, according to the Herald.
"It is sad that seeing your children in court giving evidence did not in any way melt your heart," the judge said. "It is sad that your initial period in custody has not changed you. Custody is inevitable: you have blighted the lives of these children."
Express reports that Clappison's abuses were uncovered after her daughter broke down at school in 2010, begging teachers not to send her home.