Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Muslim businessman who repeatedly raped victim before threatening to kill her father if she did not wed him becomes first to be prosecuted under new forced marriage law

  • 34-year-old, who cannot be identified, repeatedly raped 25-year-old woman
  • He secretly filmed her showering and threatened to make footage public 
  • Man, who was also married, developed 'irrational obsession' with his victim
  • He has been jailed for 16 years at Cardiff Crown Court for seven charges including forced marriage, rape and bigamy 
A Muslim businessman has been prosecuted under new forced marriage laws for repeatedly raping his 25-year-old victim and threatening to kill her father if she did not become his wife (posed by model)  
A Muslim businessman who repeatedly raped his victim before threatening to kill her father if she refused to be his wife has become the first person in Britain to be prosecuted under new forced marriage laws.

In the landmark case, the 34-year-old man from Cardiff, described as 'arrogant, manipulative and devious', was jailed for 16 years for making a 25-year-old woman marry him under duress. 

Merthyr Crown Court heard how the man, who was already married, developed an 'irrational obsession' with his victim.

The first time that he raped her, the man lured her to his home under the false pretense of a get-together with friends.

But when she arrived at his home, the woman found the property empty before the curtains were drawn and the front door locked.

A judge then told of how the terrified woman - a devout Muslim - was bound and gagged with scarves before music was played loudly to drown out her cries for help as he raped her.

But the woman's ordeal was far from over.
Following the attack, the man encouraged the woman to take a shower.

But, unbeknown to the victim, he had secretly recorded her showering by hiding a camera in the towel rail. 

He later showed her the footage and threatened to make the 'intimate' video public unless she married him.

He then carried out a six-month 'campaign of repeated and systematic rape' against the woman, the court heard. 

Sentencing the man, Judge Daniel Williams said the defendant used 'constant threats' to try to keep his victim quiet. 

'You made her feel that she was no longer marriage material (for anyone else) in the hope that she would turn to you,' he said.  

The court heard that on another occasion, following months of abuse, the man suddenly turned up at the woman's place of work and drove her straight to a mosque to get married.  

While there, he warned the victim that, if she did submit to his demand, her parents would be killed, the court heard. 

Judge Williams said the forced marriage left her so distressed that she considered taking her own life.

The Cardiff businessman pleaded guilty to four counts of rape, as well admitting forced marriage, bigamy and voyeurism.

Judge Williams said: 'When you first raped her, she was still a virgin - something which you would use to ensure her silence.

'After you had raped her you produced a laptop which had a video of her showering after you had installed a hidden camera in a towel rail.
'You threatened that if she disclosed the rape to anyone, you would make that video public.' 

The court heard that the man had preyed upon his victim for years and even managed to convince her that her then boyfriend was gay by setting up a fake Facebook page.

Judge Williams also detailed the defendant's attempts to try to have his case thrown out. He said that the man's constant change of plea right up until the 11th hour was an 'exercise of control' over the woman in the hope that she drop the case.

The court was also told the man's trial was aborted on the second day - just as his victim was due to give evidence in front of a jury - after he finally pleaded guilty.

Judge Williams deemed the man 'a high risk' to women and described the offending as 'planned...over a significant period of time'.   
He told him: 'You are an arrogant, manipulative and devious man. While you have pleaded guilty....there has been no genuine show of remorse.

'Over the period of which you raped was your intention to cause her irreparable harm so that no one would want her.'

For the rapes, voyeurism, bigamy and forced marriage, the defendant was sentenced to 16 years custody before being made the subject of an extended licence for five years.

Judge Williams also said the man - who claimed to follow Islam - would remain on the sex offenders' register for 'an indefinite period'.
Before sending the defendant down, Judge Williams praised the victim's bravery in coming forward.
'She has continued to show courage and fortitude....and the court wishes her good fortune for the future - which she so richly deserves.'  
 She has continued to show courage and fortitude....and the court wishes her good fortune for the future - which she so richly deserves
Judge Daniel Williams 
Meirion Davies, defending, said there was 'a lot of good' in the convicted businessman.

The court heard he had run a 'successful enterprise' in Cardiff and had done a lot of work for charity, which involved mixing with well known sports personalities at charity events.

Mr Davies said: 'He has expressed regret about what he did.'  

Forced marriage was criminalised under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and came into force last June. 

Previously, courts had only been able to issue civil orders to prevent victims being forced into marriage.

In 2013 the government's Forced Marriage Unit dealt with 1,302 cases - with 82 per cent of victims female, 18 per cent male and 15 per cent under the age of 15.

The cases involved 74 different countries with 43 per cent relating to Pakistan, 11 per cent to India and 10 per cent to Bangladesh.  

Iwan Jenkins, Head of Crown Prosecution Wales Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: 'Forced marriage wrecks lives and destroys families. We hope that today's sentence sends a strong message that forced marriage will not be tolerated in today's Britain.

'It is a testament to the strength of the case which we constructed with the police that we secured a guilty plea for the offences in this case.

'The victim has shown great courage and bravery in reporting these matters. 

This conviction illustrates the seriousness in which these crimes are treated and investigated by the Crown Prosecution Service and South Wales Police.

'I hope today's sentence brings some closure for those who have suffered as a result of these particularly nasty and invasive crimes.'  

Following the sentence, Detective Duperintendent Lian Penhale, of South Wales Police, said: 'From the outset this complex case was a legal milestone in Wales and the UK and a benchmark to what can be achieved.

'I hope that today's sentencing will act as a catalyst to empower victims and those at risk to come forward and enable the police and our partners to give them the support they need to ensure they're free from this criminal activity – and to bring the offenders to justice.'

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