A Montreal mother of eight has been sentenced to four years in prison for assaulting five of her children.
The woman, who cannot be named to protect the identity of her children, was found guilty of assault and assault with a weapon in April.
In the 44-year-old woman's case, court was told the beatings began after each of her children, who are from seven different fathers
, turned five.
Some of the children endured violence for more than a decade before they were taken away from their mother by youth protection officials.
Officials intervened three years ago after the woman's 14-year old daughter complained to police.
Her mother had held her head in the St. Lawrence River, claiming the girl had stolen marijuana from her.
The 44-year-old used wet rags to hit the younger ones and sawed-off hockey sticks against the older ones.
Defence lawyer Mary Raposo told the court the woman misses her children and is doing everything she can to get them back.
She recommended a three- to six-month sentence so that the woman can continue her rehabilitation.
Instead, the judge accepted the Crown's recommendation for a sentence of four years.