A BULLYING childminder who repeatedly force-fed children in her care until they vomited has been jailed for 10 months.
Clare Cartwright, 32, ran Little Nippers in Oxford Lane, Siddal, Halifax.
She was sentenced to 10 months in prison after admitting cruelty to four children.
A court was told of several occasions when she force-fed the children – who cannot be named – until they vomited. She also carried a child by her arm and one leg and put her head under a running tap because she refused to eat.
Members of the victims’ families broke down as the court was told Cartwright held children’s mouths shut and pushed their heads against the wall.
One witness said Cartwright found it “amusing” when one of the children was sick.
One parent arrived to see her child choking after Cartwright overfed him.
Witnesses said they were reluctant to report the incidents to police because they were scared. A witness described her as “moody, aggressive and domineering”.
In another incident, one of the children broke her leg in an accident at the nursery.
Despite the child being “inconsolable” with pain, Cartwright took the other children to their schools before taking her to hospital.
Cartwright, a married mother-of-three, only admitted the charges on the day she was due to face trial.
In a 40-minute opening, prosecutor Sharon Beattie listed a number of incidents over a nine-month period where Cartwright had failed to correctly look after the children in her care.
A member of the public had reported Cartwright to Ofsted after seeing a child mistreated at a public play gym.
The childminder’s was closed by Ofsted in October 2009.
Mrs Beattie, prosecuting, said: “One doesn’t know what the long-term consquences might be.” Dapinder Singh, representing Cartwright, said she had been running a successful business but the pressure of being a childminder had become too much.
He said since her arrest she has moved away and got a new job. An investigation by Social Services has ruled there is no risk to her three children.
Judge James Goss said: “These offences were not isolated offences of a momentary lack of control by an otherwise responsible carer but were exemplary of wholly inappropriate behaviour by a paid carer of young children.
“These were not actions of neglect but deliberate actions that caused to and difficulties for for very young children. “Any court must reflect the serious view that society takes of ill-treatment of very young children.”
He said Cartwright had lied to police in her interview and deliberately minimised her behaviour. “You do not accept your wrongdoing and have no remorse for your actions,” he said.
As he sentenced her to 10 months in prison Cartwright continued to look straight ahead. She was also banned from working with children.
Speaking after the sentence, Det Insp Gail Lawrie said the families were “satisfied” a custodial sentence had been made.