A CRUEL stepfather who shackled an 11-year-old boy to his bed and made him wear a straitjacket so he would sleep better has been locked up.
The straitjacket and leather restraint equipment used by the 39-year-old Mexborough man was shown to a horrified judge at Doncaster Crown Court before she jailed him for three-and-a-half years.
The boy, who cannot be identified, is now with foster parents in Scotland.
His 37-year-old mother, whom he does not wish to see again, was given a two-year prison term for allowing the abuse to take place over a 12-month period from 2008 to 2009.
The judge also commented on the stepfather’s fetish for bondage gear - although there was no suggestion of any sexual abuse of the child.
The defendant was said to have made contact over the internet with other men said to be interested in restraint methods.
He bought the straitjacket online but used his own workshop to make ankle straps, chest straps, and a special blindfold helmet from leather and buckles.
The boy also had to wear a surgical collar while in bed to stop him moving his head, the court heard.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to child cruelty.
The Star is not naming them to prevent identification of the boy.
The man had wrongly believed his stepson, who had behavioural problems, suffered from autism and he thought the restraint techniques would benefit him.
But Judge Jacqueline Davies told the couple they had an obligation to nurture and care for him and had “betrayed that trust in the most grotesque way”.
She said: “What happened to this young man over a period is that he was physically restrained in the most appalling way.
“It is difficult for any normal human being to understand how you could have done this to any human being. Quite how you could believe this was right is difficult to understand when a doctor told you the child was not autistic.
“This was an horrific offence. It is unbelievable anyone can believe that restraining anyone in the way you were would be therapeutic and enjoyable.”