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Fritzl tells court of 'very difficult childhood'

Austrian Josef Fritzl on Monday told the court where he is being tried for having kept his daughter as a sex slave for 24 years, that he too had suffered from abuse as a child.

world Updated: Mar 16, 2009 17:39 IST

Austrian Josef Fritzl on Monday told the court where he is being tried for having kept his daughter as a sex slave for 24 years, that he too had suffered from abuse as a child.

"I had a very difficult childhood," Fritzl said in a trembling voice.

"My mother didn't want me. She was 42 when she had me," the 73-year-old retired electrical engineer told the three judges and eight jurors hearing his case.

"She simply didn't want a child and she treated me correspondingly. I was beaten," he said.

At the age of 12, he made it clear to his mother that he would not tolerate being beaten any longer and would defend himself, Fritzl continued.

"From that point on, I was Satan personified for her," he said.

His relationship with his mother was never close, even though they shared the same house until her death in 1980.

She never showed him any affection and his father appeared only "rarely and sporadically."
Fritzl attributed his mother's coldness to her own childhood.

"Her life wasn't the best, either," he said. "She grew up on a farm and had to work from the age of eight."