A 56-year-old father from Windsor, Berkshire has been arraigned in court after reportedly ‘forcing his daughter to sign a lifetime contract promising to never get fat’.
The jury also heard how Rachid Khadla weighed his daughter almost daily and ruled his family with terrifying discipline.
Khadla who is facing charges of child cruelty and assault over his treatment of his now adult daughter Amira and sons Hicham and Karim, was accused of forcing his daughter to sign the contract in 2012.
The agreement read;
“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.”
His wife of 27 years Sarah supported the police prosecution, claiming he had a ‘quick temper’ and would get angry for no reason towards their three children, who are now grown up.
23-year-old Amira also told the court how her ‘controlling’ father decided what she could wear, who she could see, who she could talk to, and what she could watch on television. She said she was “fearful” of her father who constantly put her down, calling her stupid, a failure and telling her she was rubbish.
It was also learnt that when Amira was just nine years old, he threw a chair at her which left a lump behind her ear. Her father reportedly lied to doctors, claiming the injury was caused by a football.
Khadla was further accused of hitting his youngest child, Hicham, now 18 years old, in his chest and strangling him for “5-10 seconds” because he was too late to do the housework. Hicham told his teacher about alleged abuse and his father was arrested.
The court heard how on October 16 2019, the schoolboy was cleaning his sister’s bedroom when the angry defendant attacked him for being too slow.
Prosecuting officer, Alex Krikler said;
“He punched Hicham to the chest a number of times and then pushed him onto his sister’s bed.
“He then placed both hands around his neck and strangled him for quite some time, five to 10 seconds, before pulling him up, punching him to the chest and walking away.
“Hisham had tried to say ‘stop’ but had been unable to speak.
“He could not breathe and although the marks left by the strangulation were relatively minor, the incident was extremely frightening.
“The next morning, moments before the family had to leave to attend his sister’s university graduation ceremony, Hicham told his mother that his father had “crossed a line”.
“For the most minor of transgressions at home, he said that he would regularly get ‘the spoon.’
“His father would make him put his hands out and would smack the palms of his hands with a wooden spoon.
“He also described how his father would push and punch him and on occasion throw things at him.
“The abuse was not just physical. The defendant would also threaten extreme violence, that he would ‘splatter his brains across the ceiling and kill him.’
“His father would tell him that he was weak.”
Eldest son Karim also recounted the cruelty he suffered as a child. He remembers “the control, the temper, and the violence” and being punched to the head so forcefully when he was aged 15 years that it knocked him over.
The 26-year-old left home and severed all ties with his family before the allegations came to light.
After his arrest, the defendant denied strangling his son, instead claiming he was acting in “self-defence”. He said his son was in a rage and he was in fear so grabbed his son, who had tripped onto the bed to restrain him.
“When asked how to discipline the children, he said he would hit them from the bottom when they were young.
“But otherwise he said he had never hit or physically disciplined them.
“He denied that he would threaten or physically hurt his children, saying he sometimes shouted, but that was all. He denied controlling his children.
The prosecution’s barrister concluded the opening speech by telling the jury: defendant.
“The prosecution is that he can be confident that he has illegally assaulted and abused his children so that he is not just a disciplinary person, but his actions cross the line and correspond to criminal activity.”