Three people have been sent to prison for child cruelty offences following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police.
In 2019, one of the children disclosed that his parents had been violent towards him, sparking an investigation by the Force that revealed the mother and father had been using physical force against their children since 2015, later joined by another female family member.
None of the defendants can be named in order to protect the anonymity of their victims.
During their trial at Northampton Crown Court, it was heard how the five children suffered regular beatings, initially with a stick but later with a belt, and often in front of one another.
After the trio were convicted of a number of child cruelty, neglect and assault offences, on November 5, the mother of four of the children was jailed for four years, while their father was sentenced to three and a half years.
The third family member, who is mother to the fifth child, was also jailed for three and a half years.
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Laura Jardine, of the Child Protection Team at Northamptonshire Police, said: “This is a very sad and upsetting case in which these three parents have wrongly used force to chastise their children.
“These children were slapped and hit with sticks, belts and shoes over a significant period of time.
“It was heard in court that the reason behind their actions was that all three parents had high expectations of their children and wanted them to achieve well educationally. However, it was also apparent that these beatings were given as punishments if the children were deemed to have misbehaved.
“Sadly this abuse became so commonplace the children believed it was normal. They suffered a great deal over many years, and now also have to deal with the fact their parents have – rightly, given the seriousness of their crimes – been sent to prison.
“These five children have been tremendously brave in coming forwards and giving evidence against their parents and I very much hope that they are all able to move past the trauma of their experiences and go on to lead happy and successful lives.”
All of the children involved are now in the care of social services.
It is never acceptable to chastise children in a physical way regardless of the circumstances and Northamptonshire Police will take any reports of child abuse extremely seriously.