A HAMPSHIRE woman forced a young girl to drink bleach from a dirty cloth used to clean toilets and held her head under bath water during years of cruelty, a court heard.

Christine Morgan is accused of repeatedly threatening to kill the youngster, hitting her in the face and grabbing her by the throat as part of a campaign of physical and verbal abuse said to have lasted more than a decade.

It started when the child was just four years old, the court was told.

Jurors at Southampton Crown Court heard how the alleged victim, now an adult, suffers nightmares and has been mentally scarred by the 61-year-old widow “haunting her”.

The court was shown video recordings of the alleged victim she gave to police last December, reporting the abuse.

The woman, who sat in court behind a screen so she could not be seen from the dock, told officers: “It’s just been affecting me for a long time in my life. I need something to be done about it for my peace of mind because it’s affected my mental health, everything.

“It’s playing on my mind all the time. It’s always felt in the back of my head that she’s haunting me all the time, and I’ve lately just cracked.

“I’m paying for what she did.”

Prosecutor Elizabeth Bussey-Jones said the alleged victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Morgan, of The Tyleshades, Romsey, had subjected her to years of abuse, including a sexual assault when the girl was nine or ten.

Various forms of abuse She told the court: “She describes from a very early age being subjected to various forms of verbal abuse, being told by Christine Morgan that she hated her, that she was a waste of space and she wanted to kill her.

“She recalls various acts of violence towards her which vary from being pinned up by the throat against the wall, being smacked and having her hair pulled.”

During one argument, the woman alleged she had been pinned against a wall by the throat before Morgan stuffed a cloth, which the youngster believed was used to clean toilets and had cleaning fluid “like bleach” on it, into the child’s mouth.

The woman said she had been left with a “burning sensation in my mouth and I felt a bit sick”.

She described how she had been left with a huge lump on the back of her head during a row in which she was pushed into a mantelpiece, and in another incident, when she was aged five, Morgan held her head under the water in a bath.

“I have vivid dreams about when I was pushed in the bath,” she said.

“That’s an incident I can always remember.”

Morgan denies one count of indecently assault assaulting an under-13 and two charges of cruelty to a child under 16.