- Latvian fruit picker with learning difficulties was promised a job in the UK
- But she was then forced into a bogus Islamic wedding and kept inside
- She managed to find the address of the house and tell her mother
- Police freed her and four members of trafficking gang have been jailed
A Latvian woman with learning difficulties who was trafficked into the UK for a sham marriage smuggled desperate letters home to her mother while she was kept prisoner for 14 months.
The 36-year-old victim was promised a job in the UK but instead had her passport removed on arrival and she was later married to illegal immigrant Mohammed Akmal, 32, in a bogus Islamic ceremony.
She was freed from a house in Manchester after she managed to smuggle notes to her mother, who informed Interpol.
One read: 'I will not forgive them for what they have done to me. If I will not return home, then blame only them and never forgive them.'
A Latvian woman was forced to marry Mohammed Akmal (left) after she was trafficked by Hanan Butt (right)
Sentencing the gang involved in her trafficking, Judge Patrick Field told them they had used the woman 'essentially as a commodity'.
The victim, who has probable learning disabilities and could not speak English, was plucked from her life as a fruit-picking in her home village in Latvia because she was seen as 'compliant, easily led and easily exploited', the judge said.
She flew into Luton Airport from Riga in July 2013 with the promise of a job working with children of Latvian families in the UK and was collected by trafficker Hanan Butt.
nstead she stayed for three days Butt's Slough home, where he lives with his wife, Jekaterina Ostrovska, 24 - who the Home Office say are sham marriage partners themselves.
She was then driven to an address in Birmingham for the fake ceremony.
Akmal and the victim stayed at the property for several months before she was moved to Longsight, Manchester.
In one of the homes she stayed in a tiny attic bedroom while Pakistani national Akmal and the rest of his family lived in the main house.
The woman smuggled tragic notes to her mother including this one, which states: 'I will kill them for what they have done, what they have done to me, because I will not forgive them for this'
Jekaterina Ostrovska and Aqib Latif have also been jailed for their role in the trafficking plot
Another property they stayed at had metal grates over the windows and she was not allowed out alone.
Her ordeal ended after she managed to tear off a partial address from a piece of mail and rang her mother who then informed Interpol.
Judge Field told Manchester Crown Court that the victim had spoken of suffering 'psychological harm' from the exploitation.
Butt, of Slough, was jailed for two years and eight months after he pleaded guilty to human trafficking, while Ostrovska, also of Slough, was imprisoned for two and a half years after she admitted conspiracy to traffic for exploitation.
The woman was held this house in the Longsight area of Manchester where she was not allowed out alone. She raised the alarm after copying the address from a bit of post and writing to her mother
Akmal, of Manchester, who is subject to a deportation notice, was jailed for 20 months after he was found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to seek leave to remain in the UK by deception.
His brother-in-law, Rashid Ahmed, 50, also of Manchester, was sentenced to nine months for the same offence after he acted as a witness to the fake marriage.
A fifth defendant, Aqib Latif, of Slough, who paid the initial air fare for the victim, was jailed for 30 months after he was found guilty of conspiracy to traffic for exploitation.
Following sentencing, Detective Sergeant John Robb said: 'This poor woman has endured a horrific ordeal at the hands of these men and women who treated her as though she was a commodity to be passed around for their own gain.
'She was there to serve a purpose to them and that purpose was nothing more than providing an opportunity for Mohammed Akmal to avoid deportation and stay in this country indefinitely.
'Who knows how long they would have kept her as a prisoner had she not managed to get information of her whereabouts to her mother.
'In doing so, the victim showed tremendous courage which she has continued to show throughout the investigation and the subsequent judicial process.'
He added: 'What this investigation has also taught is that it does not take a massively organised criminal gang to orchestrate the trafficking and false imprisonment of a human being.
'This gang were nothing more than an inexperienced bunch of family members and acquaintances and they managed to trick a woman into coming to the UK and imprisoning her for more than a year.'