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Source : 14/09/2004 Northampton Chronicle and Echo

A convicted rapist from Daventry repeatedly beat a child with a bamboo baton because he believed the boy was evil, possessed and 'going to the devil'.

The Jesus Fellowship member was jailed for seven years at Northampton Crown Court by Judge Charles Wide QC who described his as a 'dangerous and violent bully'.

The six-year-old victim was left so mentally scarred by the beatings and the enforced belief of being evil that a child psychologist described him as 'one of the most disturbed and damaged children he had ever seen'.

Judge Wide said the 45-year-old man had created a situation where two young victims accepted living in fear, leaving an 'immense psychological impact, creating petrified and terrified human beings'.

He added: 'You have a propensity for violence - I am quite sure the effects of what you did have been catastrophic. You have a total lack of remorse and would do the same again.'

'The fact that he could think of making a weapon and hitting a child is deeply troubling.'

Simon Carr, prosecuting, said the man, of Hawke Road, admitted regularly beating the boy, and a younger girl, with a weapon made of three bamboo canes tied together.

He Said: 'When, if the boy misbehaved, he was struck with it - on five occasions on each hand and on one occasion on the soles of his feet when he had injuries to his hands from falling off a swing.'

Matthew Brook, defending, said the man was a member of the Jesus Fellowship who had been jailed for six years in 1980 for three rapes, aggravated burglary and indecent assault.

Mr Brook said: 'For some reason he was hitting the boy because he thought he was going to the devil, and for him, beating someone and the devil are connected.'

The man pleaded guilty to two offences of child cruelty as did a 39-year-old woman whose identity cannot be revealed for legal reasons. The judge jailed her for 20 months.