A dad who made his daughter sign a lifetime contract promising to never get fat has now been jailed.
Rachid Khadla, a dad of three has been convicted of child cruelty after weighing his daughter Amira almost daily and ruling his family with terrifying discipline.
His children courageously revealed the horrific nature of the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father, who ran a dictatorial regime from the family home in Windsor, Berks.
After a trial that lasted five days, a jury convicted the 56-year-old after hearing shocking evidence that depicted Khadla as a “bully”.
The fitness obsessed dad was “very conscious” about fitness and diet and his children’s weights were “a constant issue”.
He forced his daughter to sign a contract in 2012 promising that: “I, Amira Khadla, will never let myself get fat. I will do lots of exercise to make sure I will never get fat, even until I die.”
At his sentencing hearing, Khadla’s only daughter, Amira, a vet nurse, explained in a victim impact statement that she was made to feel worthless and developed an eating disorder following the weekly weigh-ins.
She said: “I was made to feel stupid and worthless, I lost my self confidence and developed an eating disorder.
“Every bit of my life was affected growing up, we did not have a normal life or a happy childhood.”
During the trial, the judge heard how the dad controlled all aspects of family life – withholding access to the internet, mobile phones and house keys.
If his children – Karim, Amira and Hitcham disobeyed his strict regime, he would punish them, beating them with a wooden spoon, a court heard.
Prosecutor Alex Krikler explained that when Amira was aged just nine, her father threw a plastic chair at her head.
In later years he strangled his son Hitcham, leaving him gasping for air.
The man, Khadla has now been convicted of two counts of causing actual bodily harm for these offences and three counts of child cruelty after a trial at Reading Crown Court.
His eldest child Karim took to the witness box to share his experiences of living under the aggressive dictatorship.
“My first memory was aged five years old, I had a habit of throwing away my lunch at school, as I grew older I realise it was a cry for help.
“My father was not happy when I got home, I suffered my first physical abuse at the hands of my father.
“I remember my father repeatedly hitting me. He was six foot weighing 16 stone, I was just a small child.
“My most severe beating was my last, he punched me into the side of my head knocking me unconscious.
“Now I get intimidated when someone shows angers towards me, as if I have PTSD.
“At school I had no friends, I was severely bullied daily, they viewed me as a weirdo. But being bullied was almost enjoyable compared with what I was experiencing at home.
“I was coercively controlled for the first 18 years of my life.
“As a father myself, I do not understand how someone can gain pleasure from dictating his family’s life.”
In his defence speech, barrister Philip Rowlands claimed that the defendant now lived a sad existence having cut all contact with his former family.
“Mr Khadla has had absolutely no contact with his family, in many ways he presents as a sad and unfortunate character, that is the position he finds himself in,” he said.
“He is not a man without quality and is not a man without credit which makes it all the sadder that he faces this sentence.”
Judge Kirsty Real sentenced him to two and a half years imprisonment.
By Jide N.