A Muslim mother in the UK left her 5-year-old son naked inside a cupboard sealed with tape while she went to the beach with a friend and her two daughters.
The boy was home alone for 10 hours, the Daily Mirror reports. He was stripped and locked in a dark cupboard with only fruit and water.
When the family returned home, they found the boy in his own excrement.
“Every time [my mother’s friend] came to the house my brother was put in the cupboard,” the boy’s older sister said in court.
The mother, 40, and her best friend, 29, who is also Muslim, were found responsible for abusing the boy in court.
His abuse reportedly began at age four, and involved being beaten with a metal stick or rod and a high-heeled shoe, according to the Daily Express.
Six wounds he suffered required stitches, and when the shoe beating left a wound on the boy’s head, the women used glue in an attempt to cover it up.
Detective inspector Mick Ryan of the West Yorkshire Police called the physical assaults against the boy "barbaric" and "vile."
The presiding judge in the case referred to the women as "willful and callous" during sentencing.
He said the mother chose to look the other way while her friend abused the boy.
"You chose, in effect, to look the other way and failed to intervene,” judge Peter Hunt told the mother in court. “Knowing and seeing how [your friend] treated your son, you did nothing to prevent your friend's cruelty to him."
Hunt found the friend to be mostly responsible for the boy’s physical abuse.
“Your relationship with the boy was highly dysfunctional,” he said to the woman. “Despite the fact you were not a parent, you took it upon yourself to mete out punishments to him of a very cruel nature indeed.”
"I'm in no doubt at all you were the dominant personality in this relationship,” he added. “You were the perpetrator of these cruel acts, so you must expect to serve a longer sentence than your co-accused."
Both women were convicted on two counts of child cruelty. The mother was given a sentence of two and a half years. Her friend will serve four years for the child cruelty charges in addition to two counts of unlawful wounding.
"People who behave in cruel and violent ways towards young children in their care must expect to serve prison sentences of significant length,” Hunt said.