Thursday, February 25, 2016
Kids Company worker 'beat and harassed daughter over Islamic marriage'
A FORMER Kids Company key worker beat his 17-year-old daughter and poked her in the head with scissors after she fell in love with the wrong boy, a court heard.
Okomi worked with vulnerable children at the now-defunct charity
The jury was told when Muslim Colin Okomi, 45, learnt his daughter Aasiyah had married behind his back he told her if she got pregnant he would "kick the baby out" of her stomach.
Okomi, who worked with vulnerable children at the now-defunct charity, then turned up at the couple's home armed with a dog chain after she refused to have the Islamic wedding annulled, it was said.
During a 999 call Aasiyah told the operator: "My dad's just tried to stab my husband. Please take him away from me."
Today Okomi admitted going round to the house but denied taking the chain saying: "Anybody who knows Islam knows it is forbidden for a Muslim to have a dog."
Today Okomi admitted going round to the house but denied taking the chain
Okomi who worked at Kids Company for seven years is accused of assaulting Aasiyah and harassing the married couple.
Previously Aasiyah told jurors: "He put his hands around my neck and pushed my hands up against the window.
He then kicked me so hard to my right thigh and I fell to the floor
"He then kicked me so hard to my right thigh and I fell to the floor.
"When I was on the floor he kicked me repeatedly. He kicked me in my back, my head and all over my torso.
"He hit me several times with a full two litre plastic water bottle. He hit me with this across the face, splitting my lip open.
"As I was about to leave, my father took some scissors and dug them into the left side of my head three or four times."
Okomi worked at Kids Company for seven years
Giving evidence at Inner London Crown Court, Okomi maintained his 18-year-old daughter Aasiyah's marriage to Turkish Muslim Erhan Ozyen, 19, was not valid.
He told the jury: "Some ceremony. I still don't recognise it. That's the reason we are here, because I don't recognise the marriage."
Aasiyah was only 15 when she first mentioned she wanted to marry Erhan in early 2013.
Okomi told the jury he was wary of Ehran and said: "I knew he had depression and was vulnerable in that way.
"I have dealt with people like that for a number of years and know how it can link to extremism.
"It's one of the main underlying factors of extremism, and I was concerned he was susceptible to this."
That year he took his family to Egypt to study Arabic and Islam and warned Erhan not to contact him or his daughter.
Okomi said: "I said it not as a way of brushing him off, but as a way that he would not interfere with my daughter's education."
Okomi denied bringing a dog chain
While abroad, Okomi told his daughter: "I said to her 'listen, I don't think you should marry this guy. You are young and he has depression'.
"I asked how she thought she could marry him.
"I said I had worked with young people in Kids Company with depression and I said she couldn't cope with a person with depression."
Okomi said he believed that was the end of the matter and Aasiyah had accepted his decision.
By May 2014 after the family returned to Stockwell in south London Aasiyah had begun acting "rude" which left him wondering if his daughter still hoped to marry Erhan.
That month Okomi is accused of assaulting her in her bedroom.
But Okomi denied this, telling jurors: "Impossible. I have never in my life put my hands to my daughter.
"If I've ever reprimanded my daughter it was by taking things away from her.
"Islamically for a father to manhandle his daughter like that is major. You can't do things like that "
Aasiyah immediately moved out of the house, before the couple got married in an Islamic ceremony on 14 December 2014, the court heard.
Asked how he felt about that, Okomi said: "When I found out I was upset.
"I wanted to find out how that ceremony took place and who had endorsed it, because everybody knows that according to Islamic jurisprudence that this was incorrect.
"I wanted to know who had sanctioned and approved it. I wanted to find out who was involved with her getting married without me knowing about it."
Okomi, of Garlinge House, Gosling Way, Stockwell, denies actual bodily harm and harassment.
The trial continues.
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