Forced marriage: Welsh Muslim jailed
A 34-year-old Cardiff Muslim, described by a judge as an ‘arrogant, manipulative and devious man’, has become the first person in the UK to be prosecuted under forced marriage laws introduced a year ago.
According to the BBC, the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was jailed for 16 years after admitting making a 25-year-old woman marry him under duress last year.
He also pleaded guilty to charges of rape, bigamy and voyeurism at Merthyr Crown Court.
The court heard he threatened to kill her father unless she married him.
He was sentenced to four years for the forced marriage, 12 months for bigamy and 12 months for voyeurism to run concurrently with the 16-year rape sentence.
The court heard he became obsessed with the woman, a devout Muslim, and threatened to reveal videos he had secretly filmed of her in the shower and kill members of her family if she told anyone.
He had pleaded guilty on the second day of his trial, with the judge saying:
To the bitter end you sought to exert control over her, no doubt in the hope she would not go through with her allegations.
The judge said the offences began when the woman became engaged last year to another man. In March of last year the defendant took her to his house under the pretence of having a meal with his wife.
The judge said:
Your house was empty, you locked the front door and drew the curtains, you ignored her pleas to let her go and threw her mobile phone away and bound and gagged her with scarves belonging to your wife.
You tied her hands behind her back, she was bruised by the ties and she couldn’t breathe. She almost passed out and then you raped her.
She was a virgin, something which you knew and something which you used to ensure her silence. You took her innocence to ensure her silence.
The court heard he later pretended to be her fiancé on Facebook and when she disclosed the rape online, sought to persuade her to take the matter no further.
Less than a month later, he contacted her asking her forgiveness and then raped her.
The judge the defendant he told his victim she was to be his wife and took her to a mosque, continuing his threats to kill members of her family and reveal the videos if she did not comply.
After the hearing, Det Supt Lian Penhale from South Wales Police praised the woman’s “courage and strength” to come forward. She said she hoped the case would “empower” others to come forward.
Iwan Jenkins, head of CPS Wales Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said:
Forced marriage wrecks lives and destroys families. We hope that today’s sentence sends a strong message that forced marriage will not be tolerated in today’s Britain.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn