Child abuse
The judge described the woman's behaviour as "remarkably cruel and vicious"iStock

A 70-year-old woman in England has been jailed for four years after she admitted to mistreating children by, among other things, forcing them to stand outside in the cold, eat their own vomit and drink bleach, according to reports.

Sandra Clayton, from Brightlingsea, Essex, admitted to three offenses of child neglect at the Ipswich Crown Court on Thursday, 20 June.

The offences occurred in the 1970s, when Clayton was supposed to be looking after three children, all of whom were not related to her.

The prosecution said Clayton fed a gluten-rich diet to a child she knew he was gluten intolerant and forced him to eat his vomit, the Metro reported.

The woman also played a game called "swingies", whereby she would swing the children around a room holding them by a leg and an arm and then let them go, causing them to hit a wall or furniture.

As a result of this treatment, one child suffered two injuries on at least two occasions. He suffered a cut to his chin that requited hospital treatment. Another time, his head swelled after it hit a radiator pipe.

Two of the victims, whose identity was not revealed, read out statements detailing the effects the abuse had on them.

"If I see somebody who looks like her or hear someone in the supermarket with a similar tone of voice I am still struck with a rising panic," one said, according to the local Daily Gazzette.

"It is my deepest hope I will be able to begin the healing process and find lasting peace of mind. The affects of the abuse have impacted every area of my life," the victim continued.

Judge Rupert Overbury described the woman's behaviour as "remarkably cruel and vicious" and added: "What you did was calculated, deliberate and sadistic.

"You deliberately assaulted, ill-treated and exposed each of them to unnecessary suffering or injury through both direct and indirect violence,"he continued.

He added that the victims, all of whom are in their 40s now, were left physically and psychologically scarred.

The defence said Clayton regretted her behaviour and was now a different person. The woman told the court she was devastated by her actions.