A couple from Leeds have today (30 July) been sentenced to a total of eight years for tricking their daughter into travelling to Bangladesh in order to force her into marriage. The male defendant was jailed for four and a half years and the female defendant was jailed for three and a half years.
The defendants told their children in the summer of 2016 that they were travelling to Bangladesh for a holiday to visit relatives. Once they arrived in a remote village, the victim was told she was to be married to her cousin.
When she refused, her parents took her phone away and threatened her with violence if she did not agree to the marriage. She was assaulted and her father threatened to slit her throat and to ‘chop her up’ in 18 seconds – one for each year of her life – if she refused to comply.
After being made aware of the escalating situation, the British High Commission in Bangladesh, the Forced Marriage Unit, and Bangladeshi police worked together to rescue the victim and bring her safely back to the UK.
Peter Mann, District Crown Prosecutor 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 and the custodial sentences imposed today send a clear message that forced marriage is a very serious crime and those responsible will be prosecuted.”
Forcing someone to marry against their will is a criminal offence and carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. Contact the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) if you’re trying to stop a forced marriage or you need help leaving a marriage you have been forced into. E. firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone: 020 7008 0151