19/04/2007

'Sadistic' foster carer jailed

A foster carer who subjected three children in her care to eating their own vomit or forcing sticks down their throats as punishment has been jailed for 14 years.

Eunice Spry, 62, from Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire was found guilty of 26 charges, including unlawful wounding, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and cruelty to a person under 16, over a period of 19 years.

Spry, who had denied all the charges, was also cleared of 12 other charges.

Bristol Crown Court heard how Spry had also punished the children by beating them on the soles of their feet and forcing them to drink washing-up liquid and bleach.

Spry insisted that the only punishment she used was to smack the childrens' bottoms.

At sentencing on Thursday, Judge Simon Darwall-Smith told Spry that this case was the worst that he had seen in 40 years in law.

He said: "Frankly, it's difficult for anyone to understand how any human being could have even contemplated what you did, let alone with the regularity and premeditation you employed."

Spry has also been ordered to pay costs of £80,000, which the judge said would inevitably mean that she would have to sell one of her two properties in Gloucestershire.

(KMcA/JM)


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