A “sadistic” man who abused a young girl forcing her to stand naked in front of a window and subjecting her to “waterboarding”, has been convicted of child cruelty.

Garth Gatland, 39, of Austin Drive, Cambridge, also abused a teenaged boy. The abuse took place between 2014 and 2016.

Gatland denied two counts of child cruelty but was found guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on Thursday.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

His co-defendant Marie Maltby, 32, also of Austin Drive was found not guilty of two counts of child cruelty.

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Over the course of two years the boy was subjected to repeated abuse and was now aged 15, Cambridgeshire Police said.

A forensic scientist found traces of cocaine in the girl’s hair, suggesting she had either “ingested cocaine or been exposed to it”, the force added.

The girl, who is now aged six, was repeatedly hit with implements, including a wooden spoon, and was made to stand in “stress positions”, officers said.

She was made to expose herself at the window, endured waterboarding and was regularly tipped out of her bed while she was sleeping.

Gatland would also make her run for up to four-and-a-half hours barefoot on a treadmill so that she would sleep at bedtime, officers said.

The girl was found with bruises and burns on her back, legs, feet and neck when the abuse was uncovered in October.

An acquaintance of Gatland’s reported him to police.

Det Con Chris Down said: “Gatland subjected his victims to a catalogue of sadistic abuse,” and a sentencing date has not been fixed yet.

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