Mum guilty of tricking daughter, 17, to marry

The mother, who is in her 40s but cannot be named to protect her daughter’s identity, tricked the girl into travelling to Pakistan for what she thought was a family holiday in 2016.

Soon after her arrival, the girl, then 17, was told she would be married to a man within days.

When the teenager was shown his photo, she recognised him as a man she had been introduced to during a previous trip to Pakistan at the age of 13.

Mum guilty of tricking daughter, 17, to marry
Mum guilty of tricking daughter, 17, to marry

She had become pregnant by him at that time and had to have an abortion after her return to the UK.

Prosecutors told Birmingham Crown Court that the mother had dismissed this pregnancy as being the result of “two teenagers who had sneakily had sex”.

Despite the girl’s tearful objections, she was forced to marry the man.

She was told by her mother that there was no choice and it was a “cultural matter”.

The mother had also threatened to burn the girl’s passport to prevent her from being able to return home.

But the girl was able to alert friends back in the UK. They told Birmingham City Council’s children’s services and West Midlands Police, who asked the victim’s mother to come back to Britain.

The mother returned and appeared in court, where she claimed under oath that her daughter had not been married.

Eventually, encouraged by her friends and other family members, the girl was able to tell the truth about what had happened and return to the UK.

The mother was arrested in January last year.

After a three-week trial, she was convicted of deceiving the victim into travelling abroad to enter into a false marriage, the first conviction of its kind, as well as for the forced marriage itself.

She was also convicted of perjury and will be sentenced on 23 May.

Elaine Radway, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “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.”

Forced marriage became an offence in 2014 but prosecution is difficult, especially because it often relies on family members testifying against each other.

The Forced Marriage Unit, run by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Home Office, provided support to about 1,200 potential cases in 2017.

Since 2008, the unit has issued 1,500 forced marriage protection orders, which are designed to prevent people from being forced to travel.

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