A child-like man nicknamed 'The Clown' by his own family was subjected to a campaign of violence and cruelty by relatives who regarded him as a financial burden, a court was told today.
In one of many painful and humiliating punishments Ghalib Hussain, 27, of Accrington, Lancashire, had one end of a pair of jump leads clamped onto his nose and was hit with the other end because he cannot read and write, Burnley Crown Court heard.
On other occasions Mr Hussain was punched in the face when he failed to learn Arabic text and was also warned he would be buried alive in a cemetery and have his tongue ripped out.
He was also whipped with a belt and a stick by those who should have cared for him, it is alleged.
At Burnley Crown Court, his uncle Nek Alam, 72, and Alam’s sons Janghir Alam, 29, Zahir Alam, 33, and Zahoor Alam, 32, went on trial accused of false imprisonment, making threats to kill and causing grievous bodily harm.
The jury was told he also had to kiss the feet of his uncle and was not allowed to eat until he was told to.
Finally he was rescued by police who found him huddled on a settee at his home unable to stand due to a broken right hip, said to be inflicted when he was forced to the ground and jumped on.
He had earlier been found wandering around the area and he clung onto a lamp-post in a distressed state when officers tried to take him home.
These regular beatings and threats over a three year period were because he was seen by his family as 'slow in the head' and a 'mental case.'
The jury was told Mr Hussain had been unable to read or write and to speak little or no English and had little or no formal education.
Mr Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, said Mr Hussain came to Britain in about 2006 from his native Pakistan as a result of an arranged marriage to Nek Alam’s daughter, Sofia.
She later rejected her husband and the victim was left 'stranded and alone' in the Alam household.
Mr Lasker said: 'It’s pretty clear that he was not regarded with much affection by his relatives. Mr Hussain, the crown say, because of his problems, was unable to work in order to pay his way.#
Brothers: Zahir Alam (left) and sibling Janghir, right, with their father behind, waged war on the man because he had learning difficulties and could not read or write
'As a consequence of that, the financial burden for his care and upkeep fell upon the rest of his family.
'It’s against this particular background that Ghalib Hussain was ill-treated and assaulted on a regular and continuing basis by his uncle and cousins.
Brutal: Mr Hussain allegedly suffered a broken hip at the hands of the family, including Zahoor Alam, pictured outside court
'Those assaults or beatings appeared to have been carried out for the most part as a result of punishments, either because he had done something wrong or was perceived to have done something wrong.'
Mr Lasker said on June 26 2010 police were asked to look out for a man described as vulnerable and found Mr Hussain, in traditional Asian dress walking the streets.
A member of the public helped translate and he was asked if the officers could take him home.
But he became visibly distressed and was seen to cling to a lamp-post.
'He reported about being beaten and said the people living there would not let him return to Pakistan,' said Mr Lasker.
A relative arrived at the scene and took him home where it is claimed he was subjected to another beating for daring to speak out.
Four days later, a social worker visited the address with a police officer and insisted on speaking with Mr Hussain alone.
He was initially told Mr Hussain was in London but the victim was found huddled on a settee in a front room.
The court heard the victim said he didn’t want to speak loudly in case he was overheard and then told the officer of his treatment.
Mr Lasker said Mr Hussain, who was unable to stand up, was taken to hospital by ambulance on July 1 and had surgery to insert a number of screws in his broken right hip.
He remained there until July 20. On his release, he gave an account of what he claimed had happened to him.
The prosecutor said the crown alleged that on June 26, 2010, Mr Hussain had been forced to the ground and Zahir and Zahoor Alam then put their weight on him and jumped on his leg. Janghir Alam hit him with his belt.
Mr Lasker claimed: 'The crown say he was made, whilst on the floor, to kiss Nek Alam’s feet whilst he was in a punishment position and told he would be buried alive in a cemetery and have his tongue ripped out.
It was alleged that Zahoor Alam took a pair of jump leads, attached one end to the victim’s nose and used the other end to hit the palms of his hands.
The father and sons were later arrested. Mr Lasker told the jury: 'These four defendants deny any of this cruel and violent behaviour which the crown say took place.'
When interviewed and arrested, Nek Alam said Mr Hussain was 'mentally sick' and was spoilt by his grandmother. Janghir Alam said he was 'a burden', while Zahir Alam said he had 'a childish mind' and would be referred to as 'the clown or the mental case.'
All four men deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent and an alternative allegation of inflicting grievous bodily harm, on June 26, 2010, making a threat to kill on the same date, false imprisonment between June 26 and July 1 2010 and putting a person in fear of violence by harassment, between January 2007 and July 2010.
Nek, Janghir and Zahoor Aslam also plead not guilty to battery between January 2007 and June 2010.
Janghir Alam denies battery between January and December 2007, and he and Zahoor plead not guilty to battery between the same dates.
The trial continues.