14/08/2014 16:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

Dad Waterboarded Sons As A 'Learning Experience'

Dad 'waterboarded' sons because he thought it would be a 'learning experience'

It's an extreme and notorious torture – but one dad thought waterboarding would be a valuable 'learning experience' for his own sons.

William Province from Jefferson County, Montana, US, carried out the torture, which simulates drowning, on his nine and 12-year-old sons and two other children aged 13 and 15.

A court heard that he straddled each boy with his hands over the child's face and mouth and dumped water on their faces to simulate drowning.

Province, 42, pleaded guilty to four misdemeanour counts of endangering the welfare of a child and was given two years' probation.

His girlfriend at the time said he broke her wrist and some fingers on December 5 when she tried to stop him from punishing the children, court records said.

The woman told investigators that the man described it as a learning experience for the boys.

Waterboarding is an extreme form of torture which can result in oxygen deprivation to the brain and lungs.

Police launched a hunt for Province after his girlfriend told them about the punishment. He was arrested when he got off a plane after returning from travelling in Alaska.