A father and step-mother forced their son to perform sexual acts with them in order to ‘stop him from becoming gay,’ a court has heard.
The parents, who have not been named in order to protect the victim’s identity, were sentenced today (June 26) at Reading Crown Court.
The case bears horrible similarities to one in the US, in which it was found in March that a man had ordered his girlfriend to rape his 11-year-old autistic son because he thought the child was gay.
In court today, the step-mother received a nine-year prison sentence, while the father was handed six years in prison.
During the trial, the court heard how from when the boy was 11, the couple performed various sexual acts on him, including oral sex and touching his genitals, and made him “suck on the step-mother’s nipples.”
They also made the boy watch them have sex, the court was told, all because in their minds, they were making sure he wouldn’t be gay.
When asked by police, the father said that he had wanted to keep his son “on the straight and narrow.”
Judge Maria Lamb was told that the victim, who is now in his 30s, reported the abuse to police in 1998, but his father misled detectives and ensured they didn’t believe his son’s accusations.
But now, decades later, his complaints were heard, police followed up the claims and his father and step-mother will now serve time.
The step-mother, who now lives in Barnet, Lincolnshire, denied all charges right up until she was sentenced.
She was convicted of indecent assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child, but was cleared of one count of indecency.
During the sentencing, Judge Lamb told the couple: “This was a child who had been neglected by his mother and was particularly vulnerable.
“The damage that you two have done is unacceptable.”
Speaking to the step-mother specifically, she said: “For your own personal sexual gratification, you performed sexual acts on a boy who considered you his mother.
“This was your warped sense of right and wrong.”
Judge Lamb continued: “One of the most sickening aspects is how you pointed a finger at wholly innocent people, such as the boy’s birth mother.
“I have read and re-read the victim’s statement. He was desperate for affection and you wholly exploited that.”
Timothy Shorter, the defence counsel, said the father, who now lives in Weymouth, Dorset, did not touch the boy.
“He was very much the lesser role and you will note that the victim’s statement reflects that fact,” Shorter told the court.
After the sentencing was over, the victim said: “It’s been a long process, and I tried before. I tried when I was 16 and obviously I was made out to be a liar.
“A lot of people will ask: ‘Why now?’ But it took me that long to convince myself that I had the courage to go through it all again.
“If my story can reach just one other person, I will be perfectly happy with that.”
In February, a mother pleaded guilty to the murder of her eight-year-old son who she tortured to death because her boyfriend thought he was gay.
Pearl Sinthia Fernandez killed her son Gabriel in May 2013 with the help of her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, who convicted of first-degree murder and, a month later, sentenced to death.