A married couple in southern Russia face charges after the wife's elderly father was found by police chained up in a yard like a dog. Prosecutors took the unusual step of releasing photos of the victim, showing him sitting on a mattress with a chain attaching his leg to a tree. Neighbours alerted police after hearing the 70-year-old man's cries for help. He was allegedly chained for five days.
The couple are being accused of false imprisonment and are said to have fled. In order to stop the old man from wandering into the street, they had kept him chained up from 28 July to 1 August, investigators said. The victim, who lived in the village of Gluboky, can barely see or hear, and is in very poor health.
In an interview given from his hospital bed, he said he had been beaten and doused with cold water to stop him calling out. As a result, he contracted pneumonia. The emaciated old man, named only as Mikhail B, said he had longed to die as a result of the alleged abuse: "They beat me with a bottle of water, which is why I have a haematoma on my head.
"They took away my pension. When I wanted to eat, they threw ice-cold water on me. Then they chained me and stopped feeding me altogether." Doctors said they hoped to place the victim in a rehabilitation centre in a nearby village. No comment was reported from his 40-year-old daughter and 48-year-old son-in-law, who are said to have gone into hiding, fearing the anger of their fellow villagers.