Abusive Haredi 'Taliban Mother' Gets Four Years in Prison

Ultra-Orthodox mother convicted of beating her children with belts, sticks and electric wire.

A Jerusalem court on Tuesday sentenced an ultra-Orthodox woman from Beit Shemesh to four years in prison with a six-month suspended term, after she was convicted of absuing her children.

The woman's husband was sentenced to six months in prison and another six month suspended sentence.

The mother of 12 - known in Israel as the "Taliban mother" - was charged in April 2008 with beating her children with belts, sticks and electric wire.

According to the indictment, she also tied up one of her children, stomped on another's feet, cut one of her daughter's hair as punishment and stubbed a burning march on another's chest.

Jerusalem District Court Judge Nava Ben-Or wrote in the verdict that the household routine included "severe and painful punishments that created physical and emotional damage."

"Some of the punishments included dripping water on the children to forcefully wake them up in the morning, beatings with belts, sticks and electric wires, and cutting the girls' hair as retribution for bad behavior," the judge said.

She added that the children were denied entrance and exit from their home, and on several occasions spent nights in the shed outside.

Ben-Or explained that the violence was used as a punishing tool and to "frighten" the children, "ignoring their basic needs in a humiliating and demeaning manner."

In her ruling, the judge took into consideration the children's request that their mother not be given jailtime, as well as the suspect's own delicate emotional condition.