A Saudi man allegedly tortured his nine children between the ages of three months and 18 years using hot iron over the disappearance of £17 (100 Saudi riyals) at his house in Jeddah.

The news surfaced after the Saudi man's eldest daughter's burns were noticed by the school principal, reported Gulf News.

Upon seeing the 18-year-old girl walk barefoot, the school principal questioned the girl who said she was unable to wear shoes due to the painful burn wounds on her feet.

The girl revealed how her father has been abusing the children, including his three-month-old baby, using a hot iron since he lost his £17 (100 Saudi riyals).

In one violent instance, the accused father allegedly placed a skewer on fire till it was hot and then placed it on the children's legs and feet.

The school administration informed specialists at the Social Protection care home in Jeddah to decide whether or not the abused children required psychological and social support.

Meanwhile, the children were referred to the King Fahd Hospital, where their wounds were examined.

Officials at the Social Protection will be moving the children to a temporary accommodation and will eventually move them into an apartment after all the procedures to ensure their protection are taken care of with the authorities.

An investigation by the Social Protection care home revealed that the children's mother works at a school and is the leading breadwinner at the house. She chose not to take action against her husband over fear of a divorce.

The father, presently unemployed, gets monthly assistance from the social solidarity programme.

Salah Al Ghamdi, the head of Social Protection in Jeddah, will also be meeting the accused father to hear his version of the incident before the case is referred to authorities.

The children have preferred to live alone with their mother due to the violent nature of their father that has not only hurt them physically but even affected their academic performance at school, said one of the abused daughters.

Maha Al Muneef, the executive director of the National Family Safety Programme (NFSP), said a total of 206 cases of violence against children have been registered recently.

"According to figures, 60 per cent of the cases were abuses while 20 per cent were physical violence. The remaining 20 per cent were negligence and mental and psychological abuses," said Muneef.