GUILTY: Leeds couple who tried to force teenage daughter to marry and have baby with cousin in Bangladesh

A couple who lured their teenage daughter to a sham family holiday to force her to marry her cousin have been found guilty of attempting to force a marriage.

The forced marriage case took place at Leeds Crown Court
The forced marriage case took place at Leeds Crown Court

A jury today convicted the pair - who cannot be named - after a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

During the trial, jurors heard how the father of the victim also threatened to “chop her into pieces” when she refused the marriage in 2016.

The complainant, now 19, was taken out of her school in Leeds during term time, for what she was told was a family holiday to visit relatives in Bangladesh.

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Less than one week after arriving in the country, she was told of the marriage plans.

During the case, prosecutor Michelle Colborne, QC, said: “Very, very quickly this was going to take place."

“She was stunned and she refused.

“He told her that [the groom] had been chosen for her, that he was suitable and talked of the plan.

“When she refused, she sought out the support of the other defendant, her mother, who made it clear that this was a shared plan for her future. Her mother swore at her, reminded her that no was not an option and that if necessary there would be violence against her.

“Her mother swore at her reminded her that no was not an option and that if necessary there would be violence against her. She was later to encourage her husband to strike her.“At no point did she agree to the proposal and very quickly an impasse developed between them.”

The victim had a boyfriend in Leeds at the time.

Once their daughter refused, her parents took her phone from her and after initially trying “to be kind and persuasive”, her father soon resorted to threats.Ms Colborne said: “He would ask her for instance if she’d changed her mind yet and threatened to slit her throat if she didn’t comply.”

“She stopped eating and was deeply distressed.

“He made reference to the fact that he’d brought her up for 18 years with love, but that he’d chop her up in 18 seconds if she disrespected him.”

The court was told that the woman was eventually rescued by authorities, after secretly contacting her boyfriend in the UK.

The pair were both convicted of forcing marriage and using violence or a form of coercion to get their daughter to enter into the marriage without her consent.

They are both likely to be sentenced at a hearing next month.

Judge Simon Phillips, QC, said the victim should be given the opportunity to attend the hearing to see her parents being sentenced.

The judge said she also had the right to read a victim statement to the court.

The jury was played a series of voice clips and shown messages, which were sent from the complainant’s phone to her boyfriend in desperation after she learned of her parents’s marriage plan.

“They deceived me,” one of her text messages to her boyfriend said.

In one of the voice clips, she said: “I don’t know what to do.”

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