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Mother found guilty of forcing her daughter into marriage

Victim brought back to the UK from Pakistan

A woman has been convicted of taking her teenage daughter to Pakistan and forcing her to marry a man 16 years her senior.

The defendant, who is from Birmingham but cannot be named for legal reasons, took her 17-year-old daughter to Pakistan in 2017 under the guise of a holiday. When they arrived, the victim was told that she was to be married to a 36-year-old man in September, after she had turned 18.
When her daughter protested the marriage the defendant threatened to burn her passport and assaulted her.

In the days leading up to the wedding the victim made contact with family in the UK to for help but the ceremony went ahead.

On the day of the wedding the victim was taken to a venue where a Islamic wedding ceremony was performed, which did not require the groom to be present. After being made to sign a certificate proving the marriage had taken place, the bride was taken to a wedding hall where she met her husband. The couple were then presented to guests as man and wife. 

The defendant returned to the UK without her daughter but was brought before the Family Division of the High Court after the involvement of social services. The defendant lied to the court that the girl had not been married and wished to stay in Pakistan but the judge ordered her immediate return to the UK.

With the assistance of the Home Office, the girl was brought back to the UK and told police and social workers what had happened. Her mother was arrested in January 2017 and today was convicted of forced marriage and perjury at Birmingham Crown Court.

Elaine Radway from the CPS said:

"Forcing someone into marriage against their wishes is a criminal offence, and a breach of their human rights.

"As this prosecution demonstrates, the CPS will work with partner agencies to identify and prosecute those who coerce, control, dominate or exploit a victim to force them into marriage. It is thanks to the brave testimony of the victim that this serious offending was uncovered and that there was sufficient evidence to secure the conviction today."