May 2012

Lads were locked in their rooms for 23 HOURS a day

A CRUEL couple have been jailed for starving their two sons and locking them in their bedroom up to 23 hours a day.

Mum Lynsley Holmes, 41, and stepdad Corin, 39, also forced the lads to take cold showers in the garden with a hosepipe.

Shocked judge David Tremberg said the boys had their “childhood stolen” in a seven-year ordeal that began when they were aged ten and 11.

He told the wicked parents: “The prison environment you will be going to will seem comfortable by comparison.”

The court heard that while in their room, the boys were ordered to lie silently in bed — and at night the door was tied shut with cord. One said he felt like “a prisoner”.

They were allowed two meals a day. Breakfast was two slices of buttered toast, often not given until 1pm. Dinner would be plain pasta. Only one boy was allowed to eat at a time — meaning the other’s food went cold. They had to eat on the floor and if they spilled any, the rest would be taken from them.

If they had been “naughty”, they got no dinner. And if they swore their mouths were washed with soap.

Prosecutor Megan Rhys said the lads were only allowed to leave the house in Grimsby, Lincs, to go to college or run errands. The rest of the time they were kept in the bedroom.

She added: “They had to ask permission to use the toilet — and sometimes it was denied.

“They were not allowed in the kitchen without supervision in case they took food.” Once, the boys escaped and bought biscuits — but they were punished by being locked in their room after wrappers were found.

One was forced to stay in bed for five days. The other was confined for a MONTH. The couple — branded “callous and controlling” — married in 2002 and imposed their “oppressive regime” in 2004.

Police freed the teenagers last year after one confided in a teacher. By then, one was aged 16 and the other 18. The younger son weighed just 5st 6lb and his brother 6st.

Social Services were facing questions last night after revealing they had dealings with the family some years ago but the case was closed.

Both parents pleaded guilty at Grimsby Crown Court to child cruelty and false imprisonment. Domineering factory worker Corin was jailed for five years and Lynsley four.