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Mother ‘forced daughter to chew on glass as punishment for not taking cod liver oil’

A mother facing child cruelty charges is accused of forcing her daughter to chew on broken glass as “punishment” for not taking her daily dose of cod liver oil, a court heard.

Beatrice Beeko, 65, is accused of assaulting her daughter repeatedly over 11 years of her childhood in south London - allegedly using household objects including a sink plunger, a tennis racquet, an umbrella, and a frying pan to carry out beatings.

Her daughter, now 45, says the mother regularly administered the “ginger punishment” - smearing a chilli and garlic paste over her intimate areas to cause pain – and sometimes brandished a knife as she was carrying it out.

She unsuccessfully sought help several times as a schoolgirl, she told Inner London crown court, but was repeatedly told she “must have been naughty” and says she was once sent away by a police officer with a leaflet for the NSPCC.

Her mother is now on trial - having been charged with child cruelty, unlawful wounding and administering a noxious substance charges. Beeko denies all the charges.

Her daughter, giving evidence from behind a curtain, described one alleged incident when she had been left to take her cod liver oil dose but – disliking the medicine - poured it down the sink instead.

She said her mother beat her with a slipper when she found out and then held her over the kitchen sink where a glass had been smashed.


© Lucy Young Beatrice-Beeko.jpg

“She gathered the glass into her hand and started demanding that I open my mouth, that she was going to punish me for lying,” the daughter said.

“I did open my mouth, she pushed the glass into my mouth and demanded that I chew the glass.”

She pretended to chew, she said, trying to avoid biting on the glass while her mother allegedly squeezed her cheeks with her fingers.

“I spat as much as I could into her hand as she was pushing my head into the kitchen sink,” she added. She said her mother branded her “dirty, ugly, and deceitful”.

“My mouth was bleeding, I cut my tongue, a bit of my cheek, and the roof of my mouth as I was trying to get it out.”

Her daughter said the “ginger punishment” happened at least twice a year from a young age until she was 15, in the 1980s and 1990s.

She claims her mother vowed to “teach you a lesson you will never forget” during the final incident, using a wooden grinder to blend the ginger and chilli pepper into a paste.

The daughter also described her mother wielding a sink plunger “like an axe” and leaving part of the bathroom implement embedded in her skin.

“I had scars all over my body as I was growing up,” she said. “I have always been sad about it.”

Holding back tears, she added: “She is my mum and I just wanted to know why she did this over and over again.”

Beeko, a born-again Christian from Clapham, answered “no comment” when she was questioned by police in August 2017.

She has pleaded not guilty to two counts of cruelty to a child, two charges of unlawful wounding and five counts of administering a poison or noxious substance with intent. The trial continues. 

Reference: Evening Standard: Tristan Kirk

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