'I am now free' says woman as 'monster' parents jailed in Leeds over forced marriage

Leeds Crown Court
Leeds Crown Court

A husband and wife described as "monsters" by a daughter they threatened with death if she did not go ahead with a forced marriage in Bangladesh have both been jailed.

The man was sent to prison for four-and-a-half years at Leeds Crown Court on Monday and his wife was jailed for three-and-a-half years by a judge who heard that their 18-year-old daughter had to be rescued from a remote village in a dramatic operation by the British High Commission involving armed police.

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None of those involved can be named.

In an impact statement read to the court, the woman, who is from Leeds and is now 20, described how she has had to assume a new identity and now lives in fear and hiding from her family and community.

She said: "I know I will always have to remain cautious but, knowing those monsters are going to be in prison, I feel the uttermost freedom in my heart."

She went on: "I want other girls to know that forcing someone to marry is wrong.

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"I want to be able to give a message to my siblings and other people who find themselves in this situation that life does go on.

"I want my elders to know that it is illegal and you can't treat family like this.

"I want to be able to hold my head high knowing that I stood up for what is right.

"I want to be able to live knowing that I will not be a victim for my parents' honour and reputation.

"I will not live in shame. I am now free."