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House of horrors: Couple who tortured their children jailed for life

A US couple who starved and locked up 12 of their 13 children have been jailed for life.

David and Louise Turpin were sentenced during an emotional hearing that saw some of the youngsters speak publicly about the abuse for the first time.

In court, one of their daughters wept and said: "My parents took my whole life from me but now I'm taking my life back."

Tortured children speak as parents weep

The sentencing comes more than a year after the couple's 17-year-old daughter jumped out of a window of the family's squalid home in California to tell police that some of her siblings were chained to their beds.

A recording of the emergency call she made to police was released in which she revealed the horrific abuse suffered by her and her siblings.

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She is heard saying: "I've never been out. I don't go out much."

Throughout the course of the conversation, she said two of her sisters and one brother were "chained to their bed".

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David and Louise Turpin
Image: Louise and David Turpin (pictured left and far right) at their sentencing

She explained: "Sometimes we live in filth, and sometimes I wake up and I can't breathe because how dirty the house is."

The couple, who pleaded guilty to years of abuse and torture, may be given parole after 25 years of their sentence.

Mrs Turpin, 50, wept as she apologised for hurting her children, while Mr Turpin, a 57-year-old engineer, struggled to give a short statement.

She told the court: "I'm sorry for everything I've done to hurt my children. I love my children so much."

Before sentencing some of the children spoke of their love for their parents and of what they had suffered.

One of the children asked for a lighter sentence for the parents because "they believed everything they did was to protect us".

An adult daughter walked into court in tears as she held hands with a prosecutor.

She said: "Life may have been bad, but it made me strong. I fought to become the person that I am.

"I saw my dad change my mom. They almost changed me, but I realised what was happening… I'm a fighter. I'm strong and I'm shooting through life like a rocket."

The abuse in the house was concealed by a veneer of normality in the middle class area of Perris, a small city about 60 miles south east of Los Angeles.

911 call released by police captures a child's plea for help after escaping the family's filthy home.

Outside the house was kept neat and neighbours said that although they rarely saw the children, there had been nothing to cause them to be suspicious.

When police arrived at the house they were shocked by what they discovered.

They found a 22-year-old son chained to a bed while two girls had just been set free from their shackles.

The house was covered in filth and the stench of human waste was overwhelming.

Children said they were beaten, caged Read More – Source

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