Daughter claims she was hit with a hammer 34 times

Deborah Harrison (left) Jennifer Harrison (right)
Deborah Harrison (left) Jennifer Harrison (right)

A daughter told a jury how she was subjected to a campaign of abuse at the hands of her parents including being hit 34 times with a hammer, a court heard.

The 20-year-old told how she went from being starved to gorging on food as her relationship with her stepmother grew worse after moving to Railway Cottages, Bempton, near Bridlington.

Her mother, Deborah Harrison, 37, and stepmother Jennifer Harrison, 40, are on trial at Hull Crown Court (May 9-16) both denying assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The woman, claims Jennifer Harrison hit her 34 times – one blow for each piece of food she stole as she let off her anger at her behaviour.

She was 16 at the time and has now told the jury she slept on the floor in a dog bed and was ordered to gorge on bowls of porridge.

The woman is accused of making up the allegations.

She took to the witness stand behind screens to deny claims she had been jealous of the couple’s relationship.

She said she was hit with a hair brush, TV remote control and at one stage tried to run away, eventually trying to take her own life.

Claire Holmes, defending, accused the daughter of being a troublesome teenager who indulged in fictional story writing believing the characters were telling her to do things.

She was also accused of diagnosing herself as a manic depressive, stabbing her pet rabbit with a compass and deliberately allowing her dog to walk on a railway line to get back at the couple.

The woman denied all the allegations.

She said: “There were sometimes good days. Generally bad days.

“They would say there are people who are dying of cancer who would love to have your life.

“They said I was this weird, horrible thing, that I was wrong, stupid or delusional. There came a point when I believed them. I was too afraid to go to school.”

She said she approached Jennifer with a sheet of paper thinking she had a personality disorder.

“Jen went ballistic. She said: ‘You know I was calming down. Then you bring me this. She started to hit me, to bang my head against the corner of the bedroom wall’.”

The woman had earlier told the jury that food such as milk, bread, and potatoes were gradually withdrawn from her until there was nothing she was allowed to eat.

She says started to starve. She told the court she resorted to eating small amounts of fruit, bread and sweets that were kept in a cupboard at their home. But, when her parents found the leftover wrappers in July 2013, they decided to “punish her”.

The jury has been told Jennifer Harrison was taken ill after hearing the opening of the case. She was taken to hospital and detained overnight.

The trial continues.