Girl aged 14 became pregnant after she was forced to marry man, 24

Mr Justice Holman said girl was forced into marriage in 'harrowing' circumstances

Heather Saul
Tuesday 05 November 2013 11:36 GMT
The High Court, London
The High Court, London (Alamy)

A 14-year-old girl from a Muslim family became pregnant after being taken to Pakistan by her father and forced to marry a man ten years older than her in “harrowing” circumstances, a High Court judge has said.

Mr Justice Holman ruled the girl would have to initiate proceedings herself to have the marriage nullified, despite a request from local authority officials who wanted a "declaration of non-recognition" of the marriage. 

Her parents had emigrated from Pakistan to England and the girl's father became a UK citizen more than 30 years ago, he said.

The teenager, who was born in Britain, was subjected to violence and a gun was produced.

The marriage was consummated following further "threats" two weeks after the ceremony and the girl became pregnant, he added.

She later returned to England and gave birth. A local authority then started proceedings in relation to the girl and her infant.

Detail has emerged in a written ruling following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in Birmingham.

"The girl has given an account of the circumstances surrounding that marriage which are, frankly, harrowing," the judge said.

"On her account ... this was a grave example of a marriage which was forced under considerable duress, involving at one stage the production of a gun and physical violence upon her."

He added: "The marriage was consummated about two weeks later after further threats to her if she did not permit her husband, who was then aged about 24, to have sexual intercourse with her. As a result, while still aged 14, she became pregnant."

The girl, who is now 17, was not identified.

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