An 80-year-old Austrian man was yesterday being questioned by police amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused his two mentally disabled daughters while holding them prisoner in his home for more than 40 years.

In a case chillingly reminiscent of the multiple rapist Josef Fritzl, the suspect, identified only as Gottfried W, faces charges of having locked up his daughters since 1970 in a small room in the family's farmhouse in the village of St Peter am Hart.

The women - now aged 53 and 45 - were said to have been repeatedly raped, intimidated, threatened and beaten by their father.