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Mother threatened to tear up teenager's passport if she did not marry, court told Mother threatened to tear up teenager's passport if she did not marry, court told
(1 day later)
A teenager from Birmingham has told a court how her mother threatened to tear up her passport if she did not marry a man by whom she had fallen pregnant at the age of 13. A teenager from Birmingham has told a court how her mother threatened to tear up her passport if she did not marry a man by whom she had become pregnant at the age of 13.
The girl, who is now 19, said she cried through a wedding ceremony and begged her mother for help after being forced into the 2016 marriage in Pakistan, four years after her pregnancy.The girl, who is now 19, said she cried through a wedding ceremony and begged her mother for help after being forced into the 2016 marriage in Pakistan, four years after her pregnancy.
She told jurors that prior to the event her mother, who is charged with two counts of forced marriage, also bribed her with a smartphone. She claimed her mother became angry when she told her she did not want to marry the 33-year-old Pakistani national – a man by whom she had fallen pregnant on a previous visit in 2012 when she was 13 and he was 29. She told jurors that prior to the event her mother, who is charged with two counts of forced marriage, also bribed her with a smartphone. She claimed her mother became angry when she told her she did not want to marry the 33-year-old Pakistani national – a man by whom she had become pregnant on a previous visit in 2012 when she was 13 and he was 29.
Wiping away tears, she told Birmingham crown court how she felt like an “object that could be moved from place to place” and feared her mother would be angry and disappointed if she did not comply with her wishes. She said: “I knew I was in Pakistan. I had nowhere to go. I had to do whatever was asked.”Wiping away tears, she told Birmingham crown court how she felt like an “object that could be moved from place to place” and feared her mother would be angry and disappointed if she did not comply with her wishes. She said: “I knew I was in Pakistan. I had nowhere to go. I had to do whatever was asked.”
It is alleged the 45-year-old defendant, accused of duping her daughter into travelling abroad, later threatened her with black magic if she told anyone what had happened. Neither the defendant nor her daughter can be named for legal reasons.It is alleged the 45-year-old defendant, accused of duping her daughter into travelling abroad, later threatened her with black magic if she told anyone what had happened. Neither the defendant nor her daughter can be named for legal reasons.
Giving evidence, the teenager said she woke on the day of the wedding on 18 September 2016 experiencing breathing difficulties and was visited by a doctor to treat her asthma. Later, she said, she was taken to a salon where she had make-up and henna applied and was visited by an imam.Giving evidence, the teenager said she woke on the day of the wedding on 18 September 2016 experiencing breathing difficulties and was visited by a doctor to treat her asthma. Later, she said, she was taken to a salon where she had make-up and henna applied and was visited by an imam.
When asked by the prosecuting barrister Deborah Gould what happened next she said: “We went into a room and I was told to sign papers … he said to me in Urdu: do you want to get married ... and you have to say ‘I accept’ three times.”When asked by the prosecuting barrister Deborah Gould what happened next she said: “We went into a room and I was told to sign papers … he said to me in Urdu: do you want to get married ... and you have to say ‘I accept’ three times.”
Asked if she did so, she said: “Yes, my mum said I had to. My mum was telling me what to say.” The teenager said she was then taken to the wedding party and led to a room upstairs for photos and to meet her “husband” – her stepfather’s nephew.Asked if she did so, she said: “Yes, my mum said I had to. My mum was telling me what to say.” The teenager said she was then taken to the wedding party and led to a room upstairs for photos and to meet her “husband” – her stepfather’s nephew.
“We both went down the stairs together and we had to walk from the stairs to the stage and I was trying to tell my mum that I [didn’t] want to get married. My mum was basically holding my arm to take me there,” she told the court.“We both went down the stairs together and we had to walk from the stairs to the stage and I was trying to tell my mum that I [didn’t] want to get married. My mum was basically holding my arm to take me there,” she told the court.
She added: “When I sat down they started taking pictures and making a video. And then I kept saying to my mum I didn’t want to get married. I was crying to my mum.” The court heard she was later told to go home with her new husband.She added: “When I sat down they started taking pictures and making a video. And then I kept saying to my mum I didn’t want to get married. I was crying to my mum.” The court heard she was later told to go home with her new husband.
Earlier jurors heard how she was first told of the wedding on her 18th birthday, shortly after arriving in Pakistan in August 2016. The teenager, who has been described as vulnerable, said that when she protested her mother got angry and threatened to rip up her passport so she couldn’t return to Britain.Earlier jurors heard how she was first told of the wedding on her 18th birthday, shortly after arriving in Pakistan in August 2016. The teenager, who has been described as vulnerable, said that when she protested her mother got angry and threatened to rip up her passport so she couldn’t return to Britain.
She added: “I was upset because I didn’t really want to get married to him. I was already in a relationship with someone else [...] And he [the Pakistani fiance] was a lot older than me.”She added: “I was upset because I didn’t really want to get married to him. I was already in a relationship with someone else [...] And he [the Pakistani fiance] was a lot older than me.”
The court was told that the teenager was given a smartphone after her birthday but it was later confiscated. She said that after the marriage she was not allowed out on her own and was forced to serve tea for relatives. “I would get shouted at and threatened if I was not doing what they wanted. It would always be the iPhone6, you will not get it.”The court was told that the teenager was given a smartphone after her birthday but it was later confiscated. She said that after the marriage she was not allowed out on her own and was forced to serve tea for relatives. “I would get shouted at and threatened if I was not doing what they wanted. It would always be the iPhone6, you will not get it.”
After she refused to sleep in the same room as her husband, he complained to her mother and she took the phone back, the court heard. “She said once I had a better relationship with him I could have the iPhone back,” she said.After she refused to sleep in the same room as her husband, he complained to her mother and she took the phone back, the court heard. “She said once I had a better relationship with him I could have the iPhone back,” she said.
Returning alone to the UK, the defendant was summoned to the high court after social workers were alerted to messages the complainant had sent to friends.Returning alone to the UK, the defendant was summoned to the high court after social workers were alerted to messages the complainant had sent to friends.
In a police statement made in January 2017 the teenager said of her mother: “She said there was a court case about me getting married and said to make sure I didn’t tell anyone. She said if I did she would send the ghost to get me and it would follow me around seeing everything I did.”In a police statement made in January 2017 the teenager said of her mother: “She said there was a court case about me getting married and said to make sure I didn’t tell anyone. She said if I did she would send the ghost to get me and it would follow me around seeing everything I did.”
The teenager told the court upon returning to Britain she initially lied to police and social workers – and said there had been no marriage – but later confided in her father and sister about the ceremony.The teenager told the court upon returning to Britain she initially lied to police and social workers – and said there had been no marriage – but later confided in her father and sister about the ceremony.
Defence barrister Christopher Gibbons asked the teenager if she remembered telling her mother that she wanted to marry [the man] after her 18th birthday, to which she replied “no”. Asked if she remembered sharing her mother’s phone, she replied: “I didn’t share her phone. I had to sneak to get her phone.”Defence barrister Christopher Gibbons asked the teenager if she remembered telling her mother that she wanted to marry [the man] after her 18th birthday, to which she replied “no”. Asked if she remembered sharing her mother’s phone, she replied: “I didn’t share her phone. I had to sneak to get her phone.”
When asked by the defence how her husband treated her, she said: “Like sh*t”. Gibbons told the witness: “Your mother said she never threatened you with a djinn [ghost]”. She replied: “That’s a lie.”When asked by the defence how her husband treated her, she said: “Like sh*t”. Gibbons told the witness: “Your mother said she never threatened you with a djinn [ghost]”. She replied: “That’s a lie.”
Her mother denies deception with the intention of causing another person to leave the country for the purpose of a forced marriage and a second count of forced marriage. She also denies a third charge of perjury and a fourth charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.Her mother denies deception with the intention of causing another person to leave the country for the purpose of a forced marriage and a second count of forced marriage. She also denies a third charge of perjury and a fourth charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
The trial continues.The trial continues.
•This article was amended on 15 May 2018 when a reference to gin was corrected to djinn.•This article was amended on 15 May 2018 when a reference to gin was corrected to djinn.
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