A young Ottawa boy at the centre of a horrific abuse story was on the stand in court today.

He testified how his father, a former RCMP officer, chained him to a post in the basement, burned him and beat him. It is the kind testimony that prompted people in the courtroom to openly weep; all the stronger perhaps because of who it was coming from: a tiny boy who believed he deserved what he got.

In a tiny voice barely audible, the boy describes to a police investigator in a videotaped interview from February of 2013 about his six months in the basement of his house, shackled to a support beam.

‘I escaped a lot of times and my father found out,’ he says.

The videotaped testimony shows the boy in a hospital bed, with his arms bandaged because of injuries. His 44-year-old father and 36-year-old stepmother have been arrested and charged with aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failure to provide the necessities of life.  His father, a former RCMP counter-terrorism investigator has also been charged with sexual assault and assault with a weapon, including handcuffs, a wooden stick and a barbecue lighter.

The victim, who is now 13, was watching that hospital videotape from another courtroom, away from his father and stepmother who were in court.  The boy is visible on a corner of the television screen as court watches the proceedings unfold.  The contrast between the boy today and the ghost of a boy police discovered two years ago is shocking.  At one point, he interrupts the court proceedings and says he wants to clarify something about his previous testimony; that his father actually burned him multiple times in two days with a barbecue lighter and not just once.

The boy shows the investigator at the hospital angry cuts around both ankles, burn marks on his chest, a horrible welt on one shoulder.  He talks about sleeping on the concrete floor, chained to a post and using a pail for both a toilet and a shower. But throughout all this, he still blames himself.

‘I did something wrong,’ he tells Detective Johanne Marelic, ‘I had impure thoughts.’

In a kind voice, she tells him, " You must understand you did nothing wrong."

The story came to light only because the boy managed to escape one day while his parents were shopping.  He was thirsty and went to a neighbour’s house in search of water and a friend.  Court heard in earlier testimony that he weighed 50 pounds the day he escaped.  Two other children in the house were taken into the care of authorities.

The irony is that while police and hospital staff were so concerned about the boy’s well-being, he was still worried about his father.           

‘My dad doesn’t deserve to be in jail,’ he told Detective Marelic, as he broke down in tears.

The trial continues Thursday.