'She would grab me around the throat and tell me to die'

Relates to:
Date: 2013-10-13

Woman, 27, subjected to a decade of abuse by cruel adoptive mother speaks of her shocking ordeal

Lita Morgan was forced to drink bleach from a cloth during years of abuse
Adoptive mother also held her head under water until she couldn't breathe
Miss Morgan has now spoken out after Christine Morgan was convicted
She said she never wants 'a child to suffer in the way I did'


A woman subjected to a decade of abuse at the hands of her cruel adoptive mother has spoken of her ordeal for the first time.

Christine Morgan forced her adoptive daughter to drink bleach from a cloth used to clean toilets during her ten-year reign of terror.

The violence also included holding the child’s head under the bath water until she couldn’t breathe and threatening to kill her.

Lita Morgan, who was adopted when she was two-years-old, has now spoken out after her mother was convicted of cruelty against her.

Miss Morgan, 27, reported the crimes to police after suffering post-traumatic stress, caused by the abuse, as an adult.

She said: 'I never want a child to suffer in the way I did. Nobody capable of such violence should be able to adopt a defenceless child.

'I feel let down and angry that I was left to suffer at her hands for so long. Social services could have saved me but they missed the signs and believed every word she said.

'I doubt I will ever get over what happened to me but I hope speaking out might save another child from the same hell I went through.'

Miss Morgan was adopted at the age of two, but the abuse started when she was four-years-old.

She said: 'For as long as I could remember mum had treated me differently to my brother who was also adopted.

'I was kept locked in my room and dressed in dirty clothes. If I asked for something to eat she would slap me in the face.

'I was bullied and teased at school for being smelly but she didn’t care.'

Miss Morgan once asked her mother why she treated her so badly.

'She told me she had wanted to adopt twin baby boys but they had gone to another mother and she got left with me instead.

'I wondered why she had gone ahead with the adoption if she didn’t want me. I dreamed of her taking me back to a children's home so another family could have me.

'I didn’t understand what I had done so wrong for her to despise me as she did.'

As she grew older Miss Morgan said the beatings got worse and her adoptive mother often left her covered in bruises.

'She would grab me around the throat and tell me to die.

'It wasn’t unusual for her to smack me until my skin was bright red and pull my hair out in clumps.'

One day Morgan held her adopted daughter's head under the bath water, leaving the young girl fearing she would die.

'I really thought that was it. I came up gasping for air lucky to alive.'

Another time her mother forced a bleach soaked rag used to clean toilets into her mouth.

'I had been playing on the stairs and she just got angry and grabbed me and dragged me into the bathroom where she had been cleaning.

'She had the dirty rag in her hand, got me in a hold and rammed it into my mouth.

'It was burning like acid and I was gagging. Eventually I managed to escape from her grip to run to my room and throw up.'

Miss Morgan claims there were several missed opportunities to rescue her from the abuse.

She said: 'One day two women turned up from social services. The school must have told them about my bruising. But mum was a good actress and told them I was just clumsy so they went away again.

'I remember breaking down because I knew then I was never going to be saved.'

She said Morgan’s husband also colluded with her to keep the abuse hidden by backing up her lies.

Miss Morgan said: 'I was upset but I never blamed him. I could see he was afraid of her too and I honestly think he didn’t know how bad it was because most of it happened when he was at work.

'He was also scared of losing me because he knew social services would take me away if they knew about the abuse.'

It was only after he passed away when she was 17 that Miss Morgan found the strength to leave.

'Without dad the abuse got even worse. I couldn’t take anymore. I confided in a friend who let me stay with her.'

Eventually she found a job and a flat and worked all hours to block out the memories of her childhood.

But, she said, no matter how hard she tried, she could not forget.

She said: 'I suffered flashbacks and nightmares. I would dream I was six years old again with my head under the water gasping for breath.'

Her GP referred her for counselling, but Miss Morgan says talking about the abuse made the flashbacks even worse.

One day she suffered a breakdown and found herself at her local police station asking for help.

She said: 'For the first time someone listened. I made a statement and mum was arrested.'

Christine Morgan, 61, appeared at Southampton Crown Court last year.

She denied the charges and Miss Morgan gave evidence from behind a screen.

During the hearing Elizabeth Bussey-Jones, prosecuting, said: 'She describes from a very early age being subjected to various forms of verbal abuse, being told by Christine Morgan that she hated her, that she was a waste of space and that she wanted to kill her.

'She recalls various acts of violence towards her which vary from being pinned up by the throat against a wall, being smacked and having her hair pulled.'

The jury found her mother guilty and she was convicted on two cruelty charges.

Morgan was warned to expect jail but because of her failing health Judge Gary Burrell handed her a 12 month suspended prison sentence and ordered her to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

She was also told to pay £1,500 in costs.

Miss Morgan has now said: 'I was devastated by the sentence. It didn’t seem fair for what she put me through. But it helped me accept that there was nothing wrong with me and I did not deserve the abuse.

'I was a child who needed a loving home and instead I got placed with that lunatic.

'She didn’t know the first thing about being a mother and should never have been allowed anywhere near a child.

'I am sharing my story because I don't want anything like this to happen to another vulnerable child.'


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