Feb 15 2012
A deaf orphan girl was trafficked into Britain and forced to act as a virtual slave for a couple. Locked in a cellar each night, from the age of 10, the girl was repeatedly raped and forced to carry out chores including cooking, cleaning, sewing and washing.
BBC Ilyas Ashar, 83, and wife Tallat, 66, regularly beat the girl – dragging her by the hair if she was too slow and slapping her if the food was too hot or spicy. The court was told the girl was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Ashar and stabbed in the stomach, while being forced to work for no money during the day at the couple’s home in Eccles, Salford.
Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said the girl had been brought from her home in Pakistan in 2000 after being told her parents had died. Profoundly deaf and unable to speak, she went to live with the Ashars at their Victorian house in Eccles, near Manchester. ‘She was brought to this country and exploited,’ said Mr Cadwallader. ‘She was a victim of threats and violence throughout her life from being a little girl. ‘She was the subject of forced labour in that she was made to work for Ilyas and Tallat Ashar as a domestic servant and do other work for them.
The woman, who gave evidence in sign language through an interpreter, arrived in the UK in 2000, and said her body ached from doing so much cooking and cleaning, adding the “old lady” of the house used to spy on her. When asked where she used to sleep, she said “downstairs where it was cold”.
Mr and Mrs Ashar both deny two counts of human trafficking into the UK for exploitation and a single count of false imprisonment. Mr Ashar also denies 12 counts of rape and Mrs Ashar denies one count of sexual assault and unlawful wounding. The couple deny charges of benefit fraud along with their daughter Faaiza, 44.