A judge has condemned the actions of a Northampton mother who repeatedly hit her children with a TV cable, causing wounds on their bodies.
The woman - who is in her forties, but cannot be named to protect the identity of the children - appeared at Northampton Crown Court after admitting three charges of assaulting young children.
The court heard the woman repeatedly hit the children with a TV cable after she became angry with them.
Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, said the abuse came to light after a fellow parent at the children’s primary school raised concerns to the headteacher.
The children were spoken to by the headteacher and they said their mother had hit them with a TV cable all over their bodies, including arms, legs, back and hips, although never on their head.
One child said his mum had hit him on the back of his legs with the cable while he was being held down by another child.
The children were examined and, on two of them, marks consistent with being hit by a TV cable were found.
The mother was later arrested and gave a mostly ‘no comment’ interview.
The woman later pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting a young child.
The court heard that the children no longer live with the mother.
Judge Michael Fowler, sentencing, said the mother was responsible for her own actions and the “stress” of bringing up young children did not justify “beating them” with a TV cable.
He said: “In my opinion there has been too much focus on your problems and not on what you have done.
“It seems to me you are responsible for the disruption to your children’s lives because you lost your temper and repeatedly beat them with a TV cable, causing marks on their young bodies.
“No mother can think this was an appropriate way to punish their children and you have done this repeatedly to the children in front of each other.
“One can only imagine how frightened they would have been seeing you losing your temper, knowing they were going to get whacked by the TV cable again.
“You have had a sad life. That would have been stressful and difficult in the way that all mothers have stress and difficulty coping with growing children. You become depressed about your circumstances.
“But none of this comes anywhere near to justifying beating young children with a TV cable.”
Judge Fowler said the mother’s offences justified a prison sentence, but he had decided to suspend it because of the consequences a custodial term might have on her children.
He sentenced the mother to a year in custody, suspended for two years. She was also given a three-month curfew from 6pm until 6am.
Judge Fowler said: “For the children you beat, I fear that custody will be something that would cause them further difficulty.”