A mother made slaves of her two children and forced them to work for gipsies rather than go to school after a fortune teller told her it was the right thing to do.
Within weeks of the meeting, Linda Clappison started locking her son and daughter, then aged 10 and six, in their rooms and assaulting them.
She fed them only sandwiches and took the light bulbs, toys and all mattresses and bedding from their rooms, leaving them needing hospital treatment for frostbite. Clappison, 46, of Keyingham Marsh, East Yorkshire, England, was found guilty of two child cruelty charges at Hull Crown Court last month. She was jailed for 18 months concurrently for each charge. Judge Michael Mettyear, the Recorder of Hull, described the case as “tragic’’. He also praised the children, who gave evidence against their mother.
Her son, Andrew Clappison, now aged 18, told the trial: “We were treated like dogs.”
After her daughter, now aged 13, told the court her mother had shaved her hair at least five times as punishment. Clappison said the girl wanted to look like Britney Spears.
Jailing Clappison, Judge Mettyear said: “You blighted the lives of those children and only custody can be justified.”