Saturday, 28 July 2012

Muslim Family sentenced for honour kidnap

Zahid Mahmood


THREE family members, who kidnapped and drugged a young woman in an honour based crime, have today been jailed for a total of 12 years.

Mother Shamim Akhtar, 59, of Kirkwall Drive, Bradford was sentenced to four years after she was found guilty of false imprisonment, kidnap and two counts of administering a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence following a four week trial at Preston Crown Court.         

Shamrez Khan

Brother Shamrez Khan, 34, Moore Avenue, Bradford was jailed for five years and brother in law Zahid Mahmood, 37 of Empress Street, Accrington was given three years. Both men pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, kidnap and two counts of administering a drug with intent to commit an indictable offence on Wednesday 6 June.

All three were sentenced at Burnley Crown Court this afternoon (Friday 27 July).

The victim who was 23-years-old at the time of the offence, left her home in Bradford in 2009 to avoid being forced into a marriage to her cousin. She subsequently met and married a man in Newcastle. Soon after their marriage, both her and her new husband visited her parents in the hope of reconciliation, but they were met with hostility and told to divorce. 

Shamim Akhtar

On Sunday 17 January 2010, she was persuaded to go to her sister’s house on Empress Street in Accrington. Two days later on Tuesday 19 January, she was given a milky drink which had been laced with a sedative, Lorazepam, causing her to become nauseous and drowsy before being placed into a Toyota Estima car.

Police were alerted later that day when her husband raised concerns for her welfare and following enquiries by officers from Lancashire Constabulary she was discovered in the car at Rising Bridge, Rossendale. She was taken to hospital and the defendants were arrested later that day.

Detective Inspector Mark Vaughton from Lancashire Constabulary said: “This has been a very difficult and traumatic experience for the victim who was forced into hiding to escape abuse from members of her own family.

“She was treated in the most dreadful way by the people who were supposed to protect and care for her. She has shown a great deal of courage in coming forward and we will continue to offer her support for as long as she needs it.”

DI Vaughton continued to urge victims to come forward and contact the police in confidence.

He added: “I hope this case highlights the help and support that is available for victims and I urge anyone who is suffering in similar circumstances to come forward and contact the police.

“We will not tolerate any acts of honour based abuse in our communities and we work very closely with professionals such as healthcare staff, the Lancashire Domestic Abuse Partnership, Social Services and teachers to ensure victims of forced marriage receive the best possible help and support.

“We understand the complex cultural issues around victims coming forward but as this case demonstrates we are committed to investigating any reports of this nature thoroughly and will do everything within our powers to bring offenders before the courts.”

Anyone with information or concerns about honour based crime can contact police on 101. Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

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