11 June 2015 - First person jailed under forced marriage laws
Businessman is first person jailed under forced marriage laws
Agencies (The Guardian)
A businessman has become the first person in the UK to be jailed under forced marriage laws introduced a year ago.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Wednesday after making a 25-year-old woman marry him under duress last year.
The man, who was already married, “systematically” raped his victim for months, threatened to go public with hidden camera footage of her in the shower unless she became his wife, and threatened to kill members of her family if she told anyone of the abuse.
Emily Dugan (The Independent)
The attacker was sentenced in Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court to four years for the forced marriage, 12 months for bigamy and 12 months for voyeurism to run concurrently with the 16-year rape sentence. Passing his sentence, Judge Daniel Williams described the perpetrator as an “arrogant, manipulative and devious man”.
Describing the distressing chain of events in his sentencing, the judge said: “Your house was empty, you locked the front door and drew the curtains, you ignored her pleas to let her go and threw her mobile phone away and bound and gagged her with scarves belonging to your wife.
“You tied her hands behind her back; she was bruised by the ties and she couldn’t breathe. She almost passed out and then you raped her. She was a virgin, something which you knew and something which you used to ensure her silence. You took her innocence to ensure her silence.”
Staff (The Telegraph)
Judge Daniel Williams, sitting at Merthyr Crown Court, praised the victim, who cannot be identified, for her “courage and fortitude” despite suffering “irreparable harm”.
The conviction was hailed as a “huge victory” by campaigners who pressed for forced marriage to be made a specific criminal offence to help stamp out the practice in Britain’s communities.
Jasvinder Sanghera, who helped persuade David Cameron to change the law, said she hoped the first conviction would send a powerful message to victims but also help stop social workers “tiptoeing” around the issue for fear of being accused of racism.
Blog (The Independent)
This is a huge landmark because we’ve been campaigning for forced marriage to be a criminal offence for almost 10 years. We lost the battle in 2005 when the Labour Party gave us civil legislation. One of the reasons was they didn’t want to offend communities, which we found appalling. I met David Cameron before he became Prime Minister, and the Coalition made forced marriage a crime.
I ran away from home at 16. I had been taken out of school because my family was worried I would say something about the marriage it was planning for me. My family said I could come home if I did what they said and went through with the marriage – or from that day forward I was dead in their eyes. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about criminalising forced marriage; I was the victim but I was made to feel as if I’d done something wrong.
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"11 June 2015 - First person jailed under forced marriage laws", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), novembre 2015. Consulté le 22/09/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2015/11-june-2015-first-person-jailed-under-forced-marriage-laws