A father has pleaded guilty to stalking his own daughter after he tried to stop her from attending university and forcing her into an arranged marriage.
The 45-year-old from Northamptonshire was handed a nine week prison term, suspended for 12 months, and given a five-year restraining order at Leicester Crown Court.
He arrested earlier this year after he was seen pinning his daughter against railing during a confrontation.
The student’s family had tried to stop her from attending the university and had tried to force her into marrying an Albanian man when she was only 15-years-old, according to Leicestershire Police.
The woman applied for university places in secret, before her family eventually agreed to let her attend under the strict conditions she report back what she was doing, the court heard.
In November 2017, the student began receiving threatening messages from her family after she was seen with a man.
Her father then went to the halls of residence where she was living in an unsuccessful attempt to confront her.
After the incident, she received no further contact from her family until April this year, when she was told by her boyfriend that her father had returned to Leicester.
On 7 May, she was walking towards university when she was confronted by her dad, who grabbed her and pinned her against some railings. After passers-by intervened, her father was detained by police.
The man pleaded guilty to one count of stalking involving serious alarm or distress, when he received a nine-week suspended prison sentence.
“I hope that the fact her father has admitted his crime today can be of some comfort to her," Detective Constable Steve Hobby, from Leicestershire Police’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit, said after the case. "She can now go about her life – living it in freedom – without the fear of being confronted by her father."
He added: “She knows that if she is contacted by him, she can make a further report to police and it will be dealt with accordingly. It is important that the cycle of abuse is broken so that support agencies can engage with victims and allow them to have breathing space. That’s what’s happened in this case and can be as beneficial as the sentence given. We take all reports of stalking extremely seriously and I hope this case reinforces that message.
“Anyone can fall victim to stalking and I would encourage anybody who thinks they are a victim – or knows someone who is - to report the matter to police.”