London couple jailed for keeping children locked in basement for 16 years

'Mr and Mrs Fritzl' kept children locked in London basement for 16 years as they beat and abused them

The couple stood trial at Southwark Crown Court (Stock image)

Friday, May 5, 2017

An elderly couple have been jailed for a shocking campaign of abuse and torture, inflicted on five children over a period of more than a decade.

Roy and Valerie Stanndard locked five children in a basement for 16 years, torturing them with fire and subjecting them to sexual abuse.

The pair, who have been jailed for a combined total of 21 years, committed the crimes at their home in Stoke Newington, north London, according to Court News UK.

The pair hit the children with bamboo canes or belts at their home, put paper which was on fire down a boy's pyjamas and held a boy's hands over a stove flame. Roy is said to have punched the children "as if he was punching a man."

Roy also forced a girl to strip on new fewer than six occasions.

Children would be beaten if they drank too much milk, as Valerie drew a line on the bottle to ensure they did not take took much. The court heard that one of their victims, a toddler, was tied to his highchair and put in a cupboard with dogs when he cried.

Their victims were also used as thieves, as Roy used goods they stole to sell on a market stall. 

During the years of abuse, social services visited the couple's home, however they covered up the abuse as the children were forced to act as if their lives were ok.

During the trial, both Roy and Valerie denied charges of abuse. Roy also said it was a "very different time back then."

However, they were convicted of 18 out of 22 charges in March. 

Roy has received 12 years in prison, whilst Valerie has been given nine.