Saturday, April 2, 2016

UK: Man jailed for the first case of domestic servitude

(London) A man who treated his wife as a slave and subjected her to an existence of “violence, intimidation, aggression and misery” has been jailed following a pioneering trial which saw him become the first Briton convicted of forcing their spouse into domestic servitude 34 year old Safraz Ahmed subjected Sumara Iram to “physical and mental torture” after she came to the UK from Pakistan in late 2012 for an arranged marriage into which she entered willingly and with initially high hopes, Woolwich crown court was told.

The abuse began after British-born Ahmed brought his bride over from Pakistan to the UK in December 2012 - having agreed to an arranged marriage in the country in 2006. The first attack followed the couple's second official wedding ceremony in February 2013, when Ahmed reacted angrily at being asked to consummate their marriage, prosecutor Caroline Haughey told Woolwich Crown Court. 'He slapped her across the face and called her a whore, a bitch and a shameless woman,' she said. In his words, he told her he had married her so she could look after his mother and his house.' She was imprisoned, beaten and forced to carry out chores from 5am until midnight each day, leading her to try to take her own life by taking an overdose of painkillers.
She was required to cook, clean, wash, iron and look after other people's children, and if this work was not done to his standard, she was regularly beaten.
Wife beater ahmed
On one occassion, a next door neighbour called police to the home after seeing her 'standing in the street in clothing inappropriate for the time of year', 'She was dragged back in the house by her hair,' she continued. 'She had a black eye resulting from damage to her nose. The doctors said it was more serious than a fracture and she required surgery.' As he dragged her bleeding back into the house a neighbour, heard him say, 'I'm going to kill you. I'm going to fucking kill you'.
Ms Iram,  lived with Ahmed and her mother in their four-bedroom home where they were frequently visited by his large family. Ms Iram, who could not speak English, was forced to act as their skivvy and was told it was too dangerous for her to go out, saying black and white men would rape, kidnap or murder her.  The 28-year-old victim raised the alarm herself by calling 999 in August 2014. Ms Iram told police that she had effectively been kept as a domestic servant or slave at a house in Elliscombe Road, Charlton where Ahmed lived with other members of his family, including his mother.

She was required to cook, clean, wash, iron and look after other people's children, and if this work was not done to his standard, she was regularly beaten.

In her victim imapct statement, Iram said: “Because the beatings happened regularly and for such small things I felt worthless. I was not allowed to do what I wanted to do, I was never allowed to step out of the house alone and I was not allowed to make friends, which means I was never allowed to socialise; I felt like their prisoner.

For his crimes Ahmed was jailed for 2 years, his family who no doubt were complicit walked away free.  Just what is it about British Pakistanis and their hostile attitudes to women?