Evil woman forced starved kids to eat soap and gorged takeaways in front of them

An evil woman who abused children by forcing them to eat soap and take boiling showers has been jailed for 15 years.

Cheryl Pickles, 35, from County Durham, abused the children for several years with her partner Andrew Hadwin, 39.

Their trial ended in January this year and saw them both convicted on several counts of child neglect and perverting the course of justice, reports ChronicleLive.

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Hadwin died in prison in February after being remanded. He had also been charged with three counts of rape in relation to non-recent abuse of another child.

Enquiries are currently being carried out to establish the circumstances of his death.

The couple’s offending came to light when one of the children bravely disclosed what had happened to her to a trusted adult in 2018.

The investigation, which spanned four years and involved more than 150 witnesses, found that Hadwin and Pickles forced children to eat soap, locked them in cupboards and made them get into boiling hot showers and baths.

The couple would also withdraw their access to food, leaving the children to scavenge for scraps to eat. On one occasion they were found at 4am walking along to a supermarket four miles away.

The pair would also order takeaways and make the children watch them eat while stood in stress positions.

After three days of deliberations, the jury, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, found Hadwin guilty of three counts of rape, seven counts of neglect, and one count of perverting the course of justice.

Pickles was found guilty of five counts of child cruelty and one of perverting the course of justice. She was found not guilty of sexual activity with a child.

Today Pickles returned to court where she was sentenced to 12 years for cruelty and three years for perverting the course of justice, to be served consecutively.

Investigative Officer Detective Constable Kat Pudney from Durham Constabulary said: “The children involved in this case have been subjected to unimaginable levels of cruelty and abuse.

“Despite their experiences in their early lives, they have shown bravery and tenacity beyond their years, standing up to their abusers through the judicial process and allowing a jury to see exactly what the couple had done to them.

“One of Hadwin’s victims, who is now an adult, showed him that what he did to her, although having a profound effect on her, was not going to rule her life.

“Pickles will now serve a significant sentence for this abuse.

“The safeguarding and wellbeing of children is everyone’s business. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please speak out – your actions could save a life."

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