'Every day I thought, I'm going to die today': X Factor's Jahmene Douglas reveals how his father almost killed his mother with a blowtorch
13:56 GMT, 20 October 2012
Jahmene Douglas is perhaps the most placid and shy performer on this year's X Factor.
But behind the sensational voice lies a boy who once feared that any moment could be his last.
The softly spoken Jahmene has opened up about his deranged father putting his family through hell and how his mother was almost killed with a blowtorch.
Tortured soul: Jahmene Douglas has opened up about the fear he lived in because of his angry father beating the family
Speaking to the Sun newspaper Jahmene said: 'Every day I thought, ‘I’m going to die today’.'
Eustace Douglas is now in prison, but he controlled the family with such a maniacal grip that they eventually had to change their names in a bid to escape him.
The unemployed father-of-four once attacked Jahmene's mother with a blowtorch and drove his brother to suicide after the pressure became to much.
Jahmene told the newspaper: 'Once, because I bit my nails, he put a knife under my nail until it started bleeding. Another time he stopped me from eating for two days. I was about seven or eight.'
A helping hand: Jahmene, pictured talking to Louis Walsh, said growing up with his father was a living hell
No defence: Jahmene's father was finally put in prison after he locked up his mother Mandy for three days and attacked her with a blowtorch
Eustace would regularly beat his family with anything he could get his hands on, ranging from kitchen utensils to leather belts.
When Mandy, Jahmene's mother, got a job working at a local post office, it sent Eustace into a mad rage.
Mandy was assaulted and tortured for three days as Eustace kept her prisoner in her bedroom and beat her and branded her with a blowtorch.
The ordeal was so bad that Jahmene couldn't even recognise her at the end of the three days when police turned up and arrested his father.
Bouncing back: Jahmene, pictured on Wednesday, found sanctuary in his music
After serving five years in prison, Eustace, who had also been convicted of rape, was released and shortly after that Jahmene's brother Daniel committed suicide.
The soulful singer said that the death of his brother 'switched' him off and he too came close to taking his own life.
Although Eustace sent several threatening letters to the family when he was in prison, they are no longer in contact with him.
Through out it all, the X Factor finalist maintains that music was the one thing that was able to keep sane.
He added: 'Music is my sanctuary. It was the only place I had to go in that time where I felt safe.'