Boy, 8, ‘tortured to death’ by mum and boyfriend was kept handcuffed in cabinet nicknamed ‘the box’

A little boy who was “tortured to death” by his mum and her boyfriend – was handcuffed and kept in a cabinet nicknamed, “the box”, a court heard.

Isauro Aguirre and girlfriend Pearl Fernandez made Gabriel Fernandez sleep tied up with a sock shoved in his mouth and a bandanna over his face, in the box within their Palmdale, California home.

Little Gabriel was tortured by Aguirre and Fernandez, 34, over the course of eight months, prosecutors say.

His brother Ezquiel, 16, and sister Virgina, 14, gave a heartbreaking account of the abuse he endured in 2013.

At one point, the judge was forced to call an early break because so many were wailing in the courtroom as the children recounted the horrific details.

Recalling one incident, Virginia who was reportedly 11 at the time told the court: “He [Aguirre] knocked the air out of him, and he fell over, and didn’t get back up. So they picked him up.

“They threw him in the shower. And they kept yelling at him to wake up. When he didn’t wake up, my mother decided to call the police.

“She told me to grab a rag and we cleaned most of the blood that was on the floor.”

Ezequiel, who was 11 at the time, said Aguirre would punch and kick Gabriel, before picking him up by the neck until he passed out.

The distressed sibling also saw his naked brother beaten with a buckle and metal hanger.

Gabriel was just 4ft 1ins and weighed just four stone, while hulking 6ft 2ins security guard Aguirre tips the scales at 19 stone.

Isauro, 37, allegedly doused him in pepper spray and regularly gagged him if he complained.

Aguirre even forced the boy to dress up in girls’ clothes before going to school and didn’t like him because he thought he was gay.

He has also accused of beating the lad with a bat and shooting him with a BB gun along with Pearl.

Aguirre’s defence attorney John Allan said his client had admitted murder but denies torturing the schoolboy, according to KTLA5.

Texts were also shown to the jury on Monday which the prosecution claimed show Aguirre and Fernandez had conspired to torture and murder Gabriel and then cover it up.

Aguirre told investigators that he hit the boy ten times in the head, 20 times in the body and “admitted that he lost count”.

Fernandez will be tried separately, while four social workers are also being prosecuted because of his death.

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