Violent and controlling father convicted of assault and cruelty to his children
A father who used a regime of violence and manipulation to control his family for years has been found guilty of assault and cruelty to his children.
Rachid Khadla (56) denied any mistreatment, but his reign of terror was brought to light when his teenage son told police in 2019 that his father had attacked him, punching him in the chest and strangling him.
Statements from Khadla’s two other children, now adults, revealed that the outburst marked just one incident in a scheme of abuse he inflicted on all three of them throughout their lives.
A jury at Reading Crown Court heard how Khadla would easily fly into fits of rage with his children and slap their hands with a spoon, punch them, throw things at them, criticise and threaten them. He controlled what activities they could do around the house and what friends they could talk to.
On one occasion, Khadla threw a chair at his then nine-year-old daughter, causing a permanent ear injury. As a result of his own obsession with fitness and diet, he also forced her to sign a document to say she would “do lots of exercise” so as to “never get fat, even until I die”.
Senior Crown Prosecutor Bill Khindey said: “It was the Crown Prosecution Service’s case that Khadla crossed the line above being merely a strict disciplinarian parent and that his regime of physical and psychological abuse amounted to criminal conduct.
“The three siblings should have felt loved and protected by their father, but Khadla chose to abuse their trust and forced them to live in fear of him.
“I would like to thank them for their bravery in recounting many years of difficult memories during this trial. It’s their evidence that has secured today’s convictions.”
Khadla was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three counts of cruelty to a person under 16 on 12 March.
Notes to editors
- Rachid Khadla (D.O.B. 1 May 1964) was convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and three counts of cruelty to a person aged under 16 on 12 March 2021 at Reading Crown Court
The defendant will be sentenced on 16 April 2021 at Reading Crown Court
Bill Khindey is a Senior Crown Prosecution for the CPS Thames and Chiltern