Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham man sentenced over attempted forced marriage

Birmingham Crown Court Image copyright PA
Image caption The victim was taken to Pakistan in 2016 and prevented from returning to the UK, the court heard

A man has been jailed for seven years for attempting to force his niece into an arranged marriage with another man at gunpoint during a trip in Pakistan.

The victim travelled there in 2016 and the man kept her prisoner by taking her passport, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

This followed a period of abuse back in Birmingham where the victim had been frequently "savagely beaten" by him.

Jurors found the man, aged 55, guilty of forced marriage and two counts of child cruelty at an earlier hearing.

His wife, aged 43, was also found guilty of one count of child cruelty and handed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.

The victim, who cannot be identified but is currently 21, was beaten by the man with makeshift weapons including coat hangers, television cords and on one occasion he sat on her chest to such an extent that she thought she could have been killed, the court heard.

She was also expected to carry out household tasks from the age of five and was thrown food to eat as she sat on the floor.

Judge Francis Laird QC said the man ruled his household "with a rod of iron".

"The beatings were frequent and at times savage," he said.

When she was taken to Pakistan, the man said his niece would have to marry a man of his choice, the court heard.

"On one occasion you held a gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she would not go through with it," Mr Laird QC said.

Eventually, the victim escaped after a friend gave her a sim card to contact the British Consulate who managed to get her back to the UK.

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites