A cruel dad described as a "brute and coward" callously beat and tortured his three sons during a campaign of abuse that lasted years.
Karl Gettings, 56, carried out a number of horrific acts against his sons, who are all now adults, while they were young until their late teens.
On one occasion he beat up one of his sons after the youngster tried to hang himself, calling him a "selfish little b****", and on another occasion beat his son with a whip after he lost a fight to a 20-year-old man.
Detailing the acts of abuse that occurred throughout the three brothers’ childhoods, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said it was the most "persistent cases of child cruelty" the courts had ever seen.
Among the most shocking incidents which took place in his campaign of abuse, Gettings taped a number of cigarettes to one of his son’s mouth and forced him to smoke them until he was sick.
On another occasion, Cardiff Crown Court heard on Wednesday, Gettings woke his son in the middle of the night and told him he needed to "teach him a lesson".
He took him to a local park and the boy wet himself through fear before he was punched in the face and stomach by his father and left for an hour.
When Gettings returned he told his son he had attacked him because he had "tried to challenge him".
When the boy turned 16, Gettings drove him to a country lane and offered him two options – to be beaten and left in the lane or to run in front of his van until the van stopped or he was run over.
The son decided to run in front of the van and did so for a mile with his father speeding up and bumping his legs.
When the lane came to an end the defendant told the boy to get back in the van and said he had "passed the test".
Gettings attacked his other son on a number occasions – beating him with a belt and a whip after he caught him eating sweets and after he discovered him playing with dolls.
He also told the boy he was not his father and had ordered a DNA test to be carried out. When the results came back to say Gettings was his father the defendant said he knew he was his father all along but wanted him to "go through s***".
On another occasion Gettings ordered his then 11-year-old son to fix another man’s car overnight while he and the rest of the family slept.
After the boy went to bed at 3am when he was unable to fix the car Gettings woke him up and punched him repeatedly.
After this incident the boy tried to hang himself but when Gettings heard a noise upstairs he came up and beat his son while calling him a "selfish little b****".
The defendant’s third son called the police to report his father and as a consequence was dangled out of a second-storey window by Gettings, who threatened to drop him.
He was also repeatedly punched and slapped over a number of years by Gettings and was beaten up and strangled until he was unconscious after he was caught stealing money from a man’s pocket.
Prosecutor Roger Griffiths QC read out two victim personal statements from two of Gettings’ sons.
The first said: "I suffered physical and mental abuse at the hands of my father. Since a very early age my father bullied me. He was very controlling to myself and my brothers.
"He was brutal towards me and tortured me. It led me to a life of crime and was I sent to prison – on one occasion I asked to be sent there to be away from my father.
"My life cycle was affected by the way I was treated and will always have an impact on me. I remember he beat me and I wet myself and gave me a black eye and if I misbehaved he reminded me of it and threatened to do it again. I still have flashbacks about him hitting me."
He added: "My father always told me he hated me and I was worthless. He told me I should be dead and was a waste of a human being and said he wished he never had children."
The second victim personal statement, from another of Gettings’ sons, said: "From a very young age as a result of the treatment by Karl he made me feel worthless and my life didn’t matter to anyone. He took away my childhood."
He added: "Karl has made me feel heartless and I find it difficult to show my emotions as Karl would say that would be showing weakness.
"We were beaten regularly and made to feel it was our fault. The pain inside has never left me and I still feel it to this day and I think it will never go away.
"I am beginning to feel better knowing all the information is out there and I feel I can breathe again."
Defence barrister Mark Wyeth said he was happy for his client to be sentenced in his absence after Gettings declined to attend Wednesday’s hearing.
He said Gettings came from a background of a family where he was picked on with a lot of drinking, abuse, and violence from his own father.
Mr Wyeth added: "We have learned behaviour which has been passed on through the course of the childhood of the three sons."
Sentencing, Judge Lloyd-Clarke said the defendant’s behaviour towards his children was "beyond the comprehension of right-minded people".
She added: "There was sadistic violence from young childhood and it’s quite clear the mental scars left from this defendant’s behaviour will last for the rest of their lives.
"They were brutalised by this defendant and brought up to consider violence as natural and were virtually trained by the defendant to use violence in ordinary everyday life.
"What the defendant did by beating and controlling children was in my opinion the actions of a brute and a coward.
"These three young men have grown up to be better men and better fathers than this defendant."
Gettings, of Newport, was sentenced to 18 years imprisonments with an extended licence of six years, to run concurrent with an existing sentence he is serving.
He was also made subject to a restraining order preventing him from contacting his three sons.
In June, Gettings was jailed for 18 years with an extended licence of six years after he was found guilty of raping two women and sexually assaulting another in a case which couldn’t be reported at the time due to reporting restrictions that have now been lifted.
Gettings denied all the charges against him in both cases and was found guilty after two trials.
In total he was found guilty of three counts of rape, three counts of indecent assault, two counts of assault by penetration, two counts of unlawful wounding, seven counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one count of threats to kill, and 24 child cruelty offences.
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