Bride was 'drugged and held prisoner by family'

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The Independent Online

A bride was drugged and held prisoner by her family after she broke off an engagement with her cousin and married another man, a court heard yesterday.

Naila Afsar, 23, was threatened with death and drugged by close relatives after they discovered that she had married Afsar Saddiq without tell them, it was alleged.

Ms Afsar ran away from her home in Bradford in July 2009 after realising that she did not want to marry her first cousin, to whom she had been engaged.

Mr Jonathan Dickinson, prosecuting, told Burnley Crown Court that Ms Afsar's family wanted her to marry her first cousin, who lived in Denmark. "Her family was upset with her and that was, perhaps, putting it mildly," said Mr Dickinson. After a brief stay at her sister's in Accrington, Ms Afsar said she wanted to return to her husband in Newcastle. The prosecution allege that she was drugged by her sister, who gave her a milky drink laced with a sedative.

Police noticed her condition when they saw her in the back of her father's car at a petrol station. "Urine samples were taken from her, analysed and the drug lorazepam was found," Mr Dickinson said.

Ms Afsar's mother Shamim Akhtar, 58, father Mohammed Khan, 57, her brother Shamrez Khan, 34, her sister Saima Mahmood, 30, and her brother-in-law Zahid Mahmood, 36, all deny charges including false imprisonment, kidnap and two charges of administering the drug lorazepam with intent. The trial continues.