A father-of-two who whipped his sons and threatened to stab them to death unless their schoolwork improved has walked free from court after claiming he did not realise it was illegal.

The man from Blackpool, Lancashire, who cannot be named for legal reasons, used an electric cord with a plug to beat the teenagers. The attack was so severe that one was left bleeding and scarred.

But when he was arrested by police the man, who is originally from The Gambia, said he did not realise such a violent punishment was illegal in Britain.

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