A WITNEY couple carried out a five-year campaign of child abuse involving beatings, suffocation and force feeding, a court has heard.

Lisa Pratt, 36, and Andrew Clent, 30, each deny three counts of child cruelty and Pratt denies one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The pair, both of Mercury Close, Bampton, are alleged to have carried out the abuse between January 2010 and April 2015 at a number of addresses in Witney.

The prosecution at the start of their trial at Oxford Crown Court yesterday alleged that the abuse included children being 'dunked' head first into cold bath water as a form of punishment.

They were also barred from using the toilet and were forced to soil or wet themselves, the court heard.

The jury of seven men and five women were also shown footage captured by a family member who was so alarmed by what was going on, the court heard, they took it upon themselves to film the alleged abuse.

The mobile phone footage appeared to show one child being pinned down and told by a male, alleged to be Clent, 'don't get cocky with me, you will regret it if you do.'

One of the alleged victims, now 19, took to the witness box and told jurors he had felt 'suicidal' as a result of the abuse.

He said: "[Pratt] would behave violently, physically and emotionally. She would punch and kick me constantly shouting."

The trial continues.