A “sadistic” father who “brutalised and tortured” his three sons has been jailed for 24 years.
Karl Gettings, 56, of Llanmartin, Newport, would punch, headbutt and strangle the boys, often until they were unconscious.
He was found guilty of 24 counts of child cruelty, a threat to kill and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said it was one of the worst cases of child cruelty to be heard at Cardiff Crown Court.
On hearing the sentence, the victims embraced each other in the public gallery.
The catalogue of violence and cruelty dated back to the 1980s and 90s at the family home in Newport.
The court heard of the “ruthless” and repeated beatings of the children, as young as four years old.
In an impact statement read out in court, one of the victims – who are now all adults – described the physical and mental abuse.
He said: “He [Gettings] was brutal and tortured me. I was scared for my life because of the torture I had seen.
“He told me I was a waste of a human being and wished I was dead.”
A second victim said, in a statement: “He made me feel worthless. I’ve suffered mental health issues as a result of the constant abuse.
“The scars heal but the mental pain has never left me. I still feel it today and I don’t think it will ever go away.”
The three boys were repeatedly left with injuries after being kicked, whipped, stamped upon and struck with objects by their father, causing them to miss weeks of school at a time.
In one incident, Gettings taped lit cigarettes to a child’s mouth to “teach him a lesson”. On another occasion, he chased one of the boys in his van for more than a mile along a narrow country lane to “pass a test”.
One of the children attempted to kill themselves aged 12.
Judge Lloyd-Clarke said: “It was brutal and sadistic violence. The physical injuries have healed but the mental scars will be with these victims for the rest of their lives.
“They were virtually trained by [Gettings] to use violence as a weapon to deal with every day life.”
Gettings was not present to hear his sentence, having refused to come out of his prison cell, where he is serving a 24-year sentence for rapes, sexual assaults, unlawful wounding and indecent assaults.
Judge Lloyd-Clarke said: “He is a bully and a coward who has refused to face his victims in court because he knows what he has done.
“These young men have grown up to be better men and fathers than him.
“It is hoped this conviction allows them to put their past behind them.”
A restraining order was also imposed, banning Gettings from making any contact with the victims.
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