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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 18:49 GMT 19:49 UK
Pair jailed for chilli 'torture'
Two women who force-fed children raw chilli and raw eggs, and stung them with nettles, have been jailed for acts of "sustained cruelty".

Maria Keable, from Ramsgate, Kent, and Deirdre Carrington, from west London, were sentenced to 19 months in prison at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday.

The two Mormon women have also been banned from working with children.

"This was a case of sustained cruelty that some would say bordered on torture," said Judge Timothy Nash.

"It had a sadistic element to it."

Those children will be emotionally scarred for many years to come
Judge Timothy Nash

The pair were found guilty of six child cruelty offences and one assault charge between 1997 and 2006 at Canterbury Crown Court last month.

Judge Nash said: "The one thing that has been unimpressive since your conviction in the case of both of you is that there is not one single word of remorse.

"Those children will be emotionally scarred for many years to come."

'Love with boundaries'

They became friends after meeting at a Mormon temple in London in 1997.

The court was told Keable and Carrington had beaten the four girls and two boys with wooden rolling pins and kicked and punched them.

They also force-fed the children with hot chilli powder - a punishment they used on a two-year-old-girl.

Keable saw her actions as Christian and believed in "love with boundaries", Canterbury Crown Court was told.

Judge Nash said: "You were undoubtedly, Maria, obsessed with punishment. You behaved like a hospital matron of the 19th Century, bullying the children in an unforgivable way."

Prevention orders

Keable, aged 60 and from Macedonia, had told police "in her country, the use of chilli was normal".

Judge Nash told her: "It's no good you saying 'this is what we did in Macedonia'.

"You have been over here for 40 years, you know how we live over here and that's what makes your part in this so wrong."

Carrington, 41, of Chiswick, told police she was having "emotional problems" when she made one girl eat chilli powder.

They were both jailed for 14 months for six child cruelty offences and five months for an assault offence.

They also received Prevention Orders which ban them from working with children indefinitely.

Two women are jailed for 19 months for child cruelty


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