Man who waterboarded girl, six, jailed for 12 years

Garth Gatland, 39, of Austin Drive, Cambridge, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty at an earlier trial and was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday,
Garth Gatland, 39, of Austin Drive, Cambridge, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty at an earlier trial and was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday,

A "sadistic" man who waterboarded a six-year-old girl and forced her to run barefoot on a treadmill for up to four-and-a-half hours so she would sleep at bedtime has been jailed for 12 years.

Garth Gatland, 39, of Austin Drive, Cambridge, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty at an earlier trial and was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday, Cambridgeshire Police said.

He had denied the charges against two children, a girl aged six and a 15-year-old boy, but a jury found him guilty.

The court heard that Gatland had also hit the girl with a wooden spoon, made her stand naked in a window, made her stand in stress positions and tipped her out of her bed while she was sleeping on regular occasions.

Evidence of cocaine was discovered in the girl's system, and significant bruises and burns were found on her back, legs, feet and neck.

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

The abuse, said to have happened between 2014 and 2016, was reported to police by an acquaintance of Gatland last year.

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."