Man who forced young girl to run on treadmill for hours is jailed for "sadistic abuse"

Garth Gatland abused a young girl and boy over a two year period

Man who forced young girl to run on treadmill for hours is jailed for "sadistic abuse"

Garth Gatland | Image via @CambsCops on Twitter

A man in Britain who subjected two children to prolonged abuse and neglect has been jailed for 12 years.

39-year-old Garth Gatland of Austin Drive in Cambridge was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday after previously being found guilty of two counts of child cruelty.

The court heard Gatland abused a girl (6) and a boy (15) over a period of two years between 2014 and 2016.

The abuse of the girl included hitting her repeatedly with implements including a wooden spoon, making her stand naked in a window and making her run for up to four-and-a-half hours barefoot on a treadmill so she would sleep at bed time.

The girl was also subjected to "water boarding", made to stand in stress positions and tipped out of her bed while she was sleeping on regular occasions.

The boy was the victim of regular assaults and made to dispose of and hide drugs for Gatland.

The abuse was reported to police by an acquaintance of Gatland in October last year and he was arrested.

A forensic scientist found that the girl had either ingested cocaine or had been exposed to it, as traces were found in samples of her hair.

She was also discovered to have significant bruises and burns to her back, legs, feet and neck.

Detective Constable Chris Down said: "Gatland subjected his victims to a catalogue of sadistic abuse.

"I hope this sentence will allow the victims to move on with their lives.

"I would encourage anyone who suspects offences have been, or are being committed against children to report their concerns to police, children's social services or the NSPCC.

"No matter who we are, we all have a responsibility to report child abuse."