A father spat at, kicked and verbally abused his daughters in the hope they would become tennis champions, a court has heard. John De'Viana, 55, is on trial in Snaresbrook Crown Court in London, UK accused of taking his two daughters Monaei, now aged 21, and Nephe, 19, out of school and forcing them to compete a gruelling training regime, the Telegraph reported.
Their practice would start at 5.30 AM and not finish until after dark, with their father starving them of meals if he thought they were not trying hard enough, the court was told. The training started in primary school for Monaei and at the age of three for Nephe.
After Monaei failed to win one tournament, she claimed her father spat at her as they drove back home, telling her that her performance was not up to standard. Nephe told the court the abuse went further for her, alleging that her father would try to hide his abuse of her by taking her out of sight to kick and slap her if he didn't like the way she was training or playing.
He would place his hand over her mouth to stop her screaming. Both women alleged their father called them "m************" and "fat, lazy c****" if he felt they were not training hard enough. The verbal abuse started when they were as young as nine, the court heard.
De'Viana faces charges of cruelty and assault, ill-treatment and neglect of a child under 16. It was alleged De'Viana was driven by wanting them to become champions. The abuse ended in 2011 when De'Viana split from their mother, Michelle Horne.
Both girls quit tennis soon after. The trial still continues. ALSO READ Roger Federer FLIES A KITE! (PIC INSIDE)