A 'SADISTIC' Burnley dad who beat his terrified 10-year-old daughter 'up to 40 times' with a ladle for not reading the Holy Book is facing jail.

The 46-year-old told the girl to bend over before ordering her brother to hit her 120 times with the utensil, Burnley magistrates were told.

He then took the spoon off the boy and repeatedly struck the 10-year-old victim as she sobbed and gasped for breath, the court heard.

The father, who also kicked the child in the hip, back and stomach, threatened the girl's mother with violence after she tried to intervene. He then said he was going to Pakistan and left the house, the court heard.

Prosecutor Tracy Yates said the father was later arrested after a visit from the NSPCC.

He told police the victim had said she was going to recite and pray every day, but she didn't.

He claimed he had made a mistake when he hit her. Mrs Yates said officers asked him if he knew it was against the law to hit children and he replied he didn't realise it was 'such a big thing'.

She added: "He said he would never do it again and has repented."

The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, admitted child cruelty and was committed on bail to Burnley Crown Court for sentence on June 23. Mrs Yates said a dispute had flared up over who was going to do the ironing.

Her father told her to touch her toes and she knew she was going to be struck as he had done it before. The defendant said she had not been reading the Holy Book and told her to shut up.

Mrs Yates said the father asked her brother to get a ladle from the kitchen and told him to hit her, which he did reluctantly after being threatened. 

She told the court he took the ladle off the boy as 'he was not doing it hard enough' and struck the girl 30 to 40 times, leaving her crying and gasping for breath.

Committing the father for sentence, the chairman of the bench said: "We feel this was clearly sadistic behaviour."