09/21/2015 19:00 EDT | Updated 09/21/2016 01:12 EDT

Son of RCMP officer tells abuse trial he stole food to survive

OTTAWA — The 13-year-old son of an RCMP officer has told an Ottawa court he stole food to survive while experiencing escalating abuse at the hands of his father and stepmother.

The teen, who can't be identified under a publication ban, alleged a pattern of abuse that worsened over three years and led to him being chained and starved in the basement of the family's home in suburban Ottawa.

His father and stepmother are charged with forcible confinement, aggravated assault and failing to provide the necessaries of life. Both have pleaded not guilty and are out on bail.

Defence lawyers questioned the boy's credibility, however, suggesting he was acting out, stealing and lying, and becoming increasingly difficult to control.

The boy testified his actions were honest mistakes or desperate attempts to avoid starving to death.

The trial is expected to continue Tuesday. 


The Canadian Press