Couple who tricked daughter into forced marriage in Bangladesh jailed for eight years

Father threatened to slit her throat and to 'chop her up' if she did not agree

Harriet Agerholm
Monday 30 July 2018 15:04 BST
The conviction of the couple was only the second of its kind since forced marriage was made a criminal offence in 2014
The conviction of the couple was only the second of its kind since forced marriage was made a criminal offence in 2014

A couple from Leeds have been jailed for a total of eight years for forcing their teenage daughter to get married.

The pair were convicted in May after they tricked the 18-year-old into travelling to Bangladesh, before threatening her with violence if she did not marry her cousin.

In 2016 the defendants told their children they were travelling to a Bangladesh for a holiday to visit relatives. When they arrived in a remote village, the victim was told she was to be married to her cousin.

After she refused, she was assaulted and her father threatened to slit her throat and to “chop her up”.

"He was trying to get me to say yes but at no point did I say yes," the teenager told a jury at Leeds Crown Court. "I thought it was disgusting because it was my first cousin and stood my ground."

The teenager contacted the British High Commission and they collaborated with Bangladeshi authoritiesto bring her safely back to the UK.

In May, the parents were found guilty of forced marriage and using violence, threats and coercion.

Speaking at the time of the conviction in May, Michael Quinn from the CPS said: “This victim was cruelly and deliberately misled by her parents who were determined to take her to Bangladesh for a marriage she did not want. Once she was there, they told her that whether or not she agreed, she would be married, and that wedding arrangements were already in hand.

“When she refused, she was assaulted and threatened with further violence. She showed courage in contacting the authorities for help, and provided valuable assistance with the investigation and prosecution of these offences.

“This successful prosecution sends a clear message that forced marriage is a very serious crime and those responsible will be prosecuted.”

The conviction of the couple was only the second of its kind since forced marriage was made a criminal offence in 2014.

The government's Forced Marriage Unit provided support in 1,196 cases relating to a possible forced marriage last year. The true number of forced marriages is likely to be far higher due to under-reporting, according to the unit.

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