Father jailed for forcing 14-year-old daughter to marry 30-year-old in Manchester who sexually abused her

Judge said the man 'betrayed his daughter'

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The Independent Online

A father has been jailed for forcing his daughter to marry a 30-year-old man on her 14th birthday.

Manchester Crown Court heard how the girl was woken from her bed and taken downstairs to the ceremony performed by an imam in her living room.

She said she did not understand what was going on during the ceremony, which was conducted in Bengali, and her aunt had to pinch her so she knew when to speak.

After the ceremony in Longsight, Manchester in 2013, she was then taken upstairs and undressed. Her new husband, who is now believed to be in Bangladesh, then sexually assaulted her.

The case only came to light when the girl ran away from home and went to the police, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Her father, who was in Bangladesh at the time she ran away, returned home immediately and surrendered but initially tried to tell police that the ceremony was a “birthday party” and she had received a “blessing” from the Imam.

Judge Patrick Field QC said the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had “betrayed” his daughter and exposed her to “long-lasting harm”.

Sentencing him to 14 weeks in jail, he accepted that the father had not meant for there to be any sexual or physical contact between the girl and her husband before she turned 18.

Judge Field said: “It was not your intention that there should be any physical contact between husband and wife until she was 18.

“But this case is brought against you because you are her father. You owe to her certain grave duties.

"Duties to nurture and to protect your daughter during her childhood. You were in breach of those duties. By forcing her into this union you betrayed her.

“It is important to stress that the law of England and Wales is that young girls should be free from such a threat and the courts will be diligent in enforcing this law.”