A FATHER who terrorised his children with a wolf mask and maltreated them has been jailed.

The two youngsters were so frightened of their parent they wet their bed and were visibly scared when being read a story at school, said Glenn Parsons, prosecuting.

The York father pulled their hair, slapped them and shouted and swore at them, said Mr Parsons.

Both children were primary school age, the court heard.

Neighbours and relatives of the family noticed how the children were in fear of their father, who was a heavy drinker.

In her personal statement, their mother said she noticed a significant change after the father left the family home.

Defence barrister Susannah Proctor said the father had “considerable communication difficulties” and the children had “extremely challenging behaviour”. “He is very easily frustrated,” she said. He was unable to control his temper or cope.

Judge Simon Hickey told the father about the children: “Their behaviour in my judgement no doubt got much worse because of your behaviour.”

The father pleaded guilty to two charges of child cruelty and was jailed for 20 months. He is not being named to protect the children.

He was given a restraining order banning him from contacting his children without the approval of the Family Court or social services. He is also banned from going near their home for 10 years and from contacting their mother for the same period.

“The defendant has already lost his family,” said defence barrister Susannah Proctor. “That is a significant punishment he is already serving and is continuing to serve.” He hoped to be able to see the children at some stage in the future.

The mother told The Press the cruelty the children had suffered had had lasting effects.