Two cruel parents convicted of a decade long campaign of abuse against their six children were jailed for seven years each on Tuesday.
The Nigerian couple, who claimed their kids were possessed by evil spirits, were found guilty after Coronation Street star Michelle Collins gave evidence against them.
They beat their children with brooms, hoovers and wires and even gave their baby a morphine overdose just days after her first birthday.
Five of the children were finally rescued after their eldest daughter threw a heart-wrenching SOS note out of a window.
But it wasn’t until their one-year-old baby was given a morphine overdose over a year later that police reopened the case which led to their prosecution.
The plight of the children was so bad that Miss Collins, who met them at a church lunch, took them to the cinema “because she felt sorry for them.”
She gave evidence as a prosecution witness during the trial of the parents, both 40, who cannot be named to protect their six children.
But the parents claimed they were victims of a conspiracy – and even alleged Miss Collins was involved in a witch hunt against them and wanted to “steal” their children.
One of the youngsters, a baby at the time, had been allowed to stay in the home despite the fact the five other children had to be rescued.
Sentencing them to seven years behind bars each, Judge James Patrick described it as “shocking mistreatment” that they had tried to cover up with a “web of deception.”
Judge Patrick said: “No-one who sat through this trial could help but be moved by the fact that these intelligent, charming, fun, lovable children continue to love you despite what you put them through.”
The married couple denied the allegations, claiming they were victims of a racist witch-hunt.
The judge however found them guilty of cruelty to a person under 16.
They argued the children had been “brainwashed” into making the allegations by the police, the council and Miss Collins who they said “wanted to steal” them, Wood Green Crown Court heard.
But Judge Patrick noted: ‘You alleged a conspiracy involving a well-known actress, who had done nothing but show your family generosity and kindness, a member of a housing charity, social workers and foster carers.
“Those who had taken the trouble to support you were repeatedly accused of dishonesty, lying, and conspiracy to rob you of your children when the reality was that both of you were lying – in fact they were simply seeking to give your children stability.”
The abuse came to the attention of police in April 2010 when their nine-year-old wrote an SOS note and threw it out of her bedroom window.