May 2015

Sadistic stepfather terrorised young children – Jailed


A sadistic stepfather who terrorised young children by pretending he was movie ghoul Freddy Kreuger was branded a real life monster today after he was jailed for five years.

David Lamb, 47, would leave the youngsters sobbing with fright in the dark by climbing into the loft above their bedroom late at night and scratching on the ceilings claiming he was character from the Nightmare on Elm Street films.

During a string of sick pranks, he hung two children from a door frame by their clothing so they could barely breathe and got his pet lizards to bite the youngsters.

On one occasion he bundled a victim into his car boot and drove him around in order to give him a fright and in another would beat him with a sweeping brush.

One lad aged as young as five was locked in a cupboard and was sellotaped to a large toy car which was then repeatedly rammed against a wall whilst he was screaming with fear. Lamb even tried to scare victims by playing music from Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds late at night

The victims – who were all children of Lamb’s former partners – suffered in silence for up to two decades before going to police in Lancashire in 2013 when they were in their 20s. All recalled how Lamb took pleasure in using the dark to deliberately terrify the children – with one victim saying he had “ruined his life” with the physical and psychological abuse.

At Preston Crown Court Lamb, from Mansfield, Notts was convicted of child cruelty following a trial. He began his campaign of psychological abuse in the early nineties when he was in a relationship with a mother-of-six and whilst living in Blackburn, Lancs.

One of the woman’s three children Adam Neil was targeted by Lamb because of his dark skin colour and would be called “paki” and “black b.stard.” Lamb would come into his bedroom room with a pillowcase over his head and hit him in the face and “behaved in a sadistic manner” towards all three of his young victims, said Julian Taylor prosecuting.

Mr Taylor said: “He would climb into the loft and scratch at the ceiling and pretend to be Freddy Krueger. On one occasion the defendant fell from the loft area onto the complainant’s bed. On another occasion Adam was put into the boot of the defendant’s car and driven around scaring him.”

Mr Neil eventually left home and moved in with foster parents but Lamb began a relationship with another woman Denise Foley, mother to Steven and Ryan who at the time were both under the age of 10. They two were also subjected to Lamb’s sadistic ways during the mid to the late nineties at home in Accrington whilst their mother was at work.

Mr Taylor added “They were about seven and five at the time. The defendant would hang Steven from the doorways by his clothing. The defendant would then lock him in cupboards under the stairs in the dark. Music, War of the Worlds was played loudly to scare them at night.

“He used to own lizards and would make them bite Steven’s fingers. Both children were left outside in the cold. He hurled Steven through a set of doors. The defendant told him not to tell his mother, to say he had fallen over the carpet which he did. On another occasion they were walking the family dog, he tied the lead to Steven’s hand and ordered the dog to run and he was dragged along.”

Lamb also targeted brother Ryan, stamping on his fingers and also hanging him from door frames so he could not breathe. He added: “He selotaped him to a toy car, locked him under the stairs with his brother. He was left in a freezing cold bath, he wasn’t allowed out to use the toilet.”

In victim impact statements Mr Neil who had once had football and boxing successes before turning to drugs, said that he believed what Lamb had done had had “a major impact” on him.

He added: “I was a troubled child, I felt scared, ashamed and embarrassed. David Lamb hurt and scared me so much. He knocked the fear out of me. He has ruined my life, not just mine but my children and family.”

Steven Foley said that Lamb had been his first father figure in his life but had started “physically hurting and torturing him”. He added that he became depressed in his teens: “I couldn’t understand why. I felt very lonely growing up, worthless.”

He said that Lamb would call him dumb and refer to him as a “duffer.” Ryan is undergoing treatment for ADHD and has even tried committing suicide.

Lamb was arrested and bailed but disappeared and failed to turn up for his trial. He was found hiding under the bed of his latest girlfriend – who was pregnant at the time with his child – in the Westhoughton area of Bolton.

He denied wrongdoing claiming a former partner had a vendetta against him. His lawyer Jonathan Duffy said: “Much of the conduct alleged as undoubtably mean, nasty, uncaring but was not of a serious nature was bullying behaviour over a lengthy period of time”.

But passing sentence Judge Stuart Baker told Lamb: “Your cruelty included physical assaults and frequent ill treatment. What you did was completely the opposite to what a parent or step-parent should have done. As little boys they were afraid of the dark and yet you seemed to find it quite amusing. “

“You were taking pleasure in terrifying all three children when young. This was not just a game when a moment of fear would be dispelled by a loving parent. This was deliberately making these three children fearful and terrified. They were very young and very vulnerable and to who you owed a duty of trust. Thee term sadistic is not an exaggeration or overstatement for you.

“It’s very clear that each boy has developed into adulthood with some impairment of the capacity to enjoy life. They suffered psychological harm at your hands. You are a very devious, domineering and manipulative man. It’s a matter of concern that until that moment you were arrested, you had been co-habiting with a woman for some months who has five children and is pregnant with a child of yours.”

Speaking after the hearing Mrs Foley said: “I hadn’t got a clue what was going on but the fact he truly is a monster who should be kept away from children. He should be locked away for good.”