London: A 45-year-old Pakistani-origin woman was on Wednesday sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail by a British court for taking her teenage daughter to Pakistan and forcing her to marry a man 16 years her senior, in the first successful prosecution of its kind in the UK, reports revealed.
The woman, who is from Birmingham but cannot be named for legal reasons, was found guilty of three criminal charges, officials were quoted as saying. She was found guilty of one count of forced marriage, one count of practising deception with the intention of causing another person to leave the country for the purpose of a forced marriage, and one count of perjury at a trial in Birmingham Crown Court.
The girl, who is now 19 and described as “vulnerable”, had been forcibly entered into a “marriage contract” years earlier with the same male relative in Pakistan when she was just 13 and had to undergo an abortion after he took her virginity. Wednesday’s trial marks the first time a forced marriage case of this kind has been successfully prosecuted in an English court, officials said. -Agencies
Judge slams defendant
You had cruelly deceived her. She was frightened, alone, held against her will, being forced into a marriage she dreaded. You must have known that was her state of mind. Yet for your own purposes, you drove the marriage through. It takes no imagination to understand the terror she must have felt.
-Patrick Thomas QC, Judge
Mother burnt teen’s passport & assaulted her
- The woman took her 17-year-old daughter to Pakistan in 2017 under the guise of a holiday. When they arrived, the victim was told that she was to be married to a 36-year-old man in September, after she had turned 18
- When her daughter protested the marriage, the mother burnt her passport and assaulted her. In the days leading up to the wedding, the victim made contact with family in the UK for help but the ceremony went ahead
- On the day of the wedding, the victim was taken to a venue where a ‘nikah’ was performed, which did not require the groom to be present. After being made to sign a certificate proving the marriage had taken place, she was taken to a wedding hall where she met her husband
- The couple were then presented to guests as man and wife. The mother then returned to the UK without her daughter. With the assistance of the UK Home Office, the girl was brought back to the UK in 2017