Family jailed in forced marriage row kidnap of Bradford woman

Shamrez Khan and Shamim Akhtar, from Bradford, and Zahid Mahmood Ms Afsar's brother, mother and brother-in-law drugged and kidnapped her at a reconciliation

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The mother, brother and brother-in-law of a Bradford woman have been jailed for drugging and kidnapping her in Accrington in a row over her marriage.

Naila Afsar, 23, fled her family home in 2009 to avoid marrying her cousin.

Her brother Shamrez Khan, mother Shamim Akhtar, from Bradford, and Zahid Mahmood, 37, from Accrington, denied drugging and kidnapping her in 2010.

Khan, 34, was jailed for five years, Akhtar, 59, for four years and Mahmood for three years at Burnley Crown Court.

At Preston Crown Court Akhtar, of Kirkwall Drive, was found guilty of false imprisonment, kidnap and two counts of administering a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence.

'Control, drug and abuse'

Khan, of Moore Avenue, and his brother-in-law Mahmood, of Empress Street in Accrington, were also found guilty of false imprisonment, kidnap and two counts of administering a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence.

Father Mohammed Khan, 57, of Scotchman Road, Bradford, and sister Saima Mahmood, 29, of Empress Street, Accrington, were cleared of the same charges at the same trial.

Sentencing Akhtar, Judge Simon Newell told her: "She's your youngest daughter and your role was to care for her, support her and look after her best interests.

"Instead you chose to control, drug and abuse her in the interests of the family reputation."

The judge said 34-year-old Khan, who was head of the family, thought his sister's actions had "brought shame and disgrace on the family, had impugned their honour".

Start Quote

...your role was to care for her, support her and look after her best interests. Instead you chose to control, drug and abuse her....”

End Quote Judge Simon Newell to Shamim Akhtar

At the trial, the court heard Mrs Afsar's family had lined up a marriage for her with her cousin but, after some time together, she ended the relationship.

She came under sustained pressure from her family in Bradford and fled to Newcastle, where she thought they would not find her, the court heard.

In Newcastle, she met Afsar Saddiq and went on to marry him.

'Date rape drug'

The court heard Mrs Afsar then tried to patch up her relationship with her family but they began to pressure her again to divorce and restart the relationship with her cousin.

It came to a head in 17 January 2010, the jury was told when Khan, his mother and others travelled to Newcastle, broke into Mrs Afsar's flat and threatened her and her husband.

She was taken to Accrington to her sister and brother-in-law's house where various attempts were made to change her mind, the court heard.

At one point her mother said to Mrs Afsar that she was "worse than a prostitute, you should be killed".

On 19 January, Mrs Afsar was made to drink a milky drink containing the drug lorazepam, described in court as a "date rape drug".

She was bundled into a car in an attempt to force her to go from Accrington to Bradford, against her will, the court heard.

But her husband raised concerns with police and officers found her in a car in Rossendale.

Judge Newell said: "Adult, educated, intelligent and independent children have a right to self-determination and freedom of choice.

"These rights have been hard-won over many years - particularly in the case of women - and are fiercely protected by the courts."

Det Insp Mark Vaughton said: "This has been a very difficult and traumatic experience for the victim who was forced into hiding to escape abuse from members of her own family.

"She was treated in the most dreadful way by the people who were supposed to protect and care for her."

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