London - A young British woman called her parents ‘monsters’ as they were jailed for tricking her into going to Bangladesh and trying to force her into marriage.
The 18-year-old was dramatically rescued after desperately messaging her boyfriend back home with her location.
She feared for her life after refusing to marry her first cousin as her father told her he would rather ‘chop her up in 18 seconds’ than lose his reputation if she failed to go ahead with the ceremony. She was told to stay in Bangladesh for a year and get pregnant so her groom could get a British visa.
The teenager was rescued from a remote village in an operation by the British High Commission involving armed police.
She only had the clothes she was wearing and a Leeds bus pass. Now aged 20, she has assumed a new identity but her vengeful family has alienated her siblings from her. On Monday, her father was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Leeds Crown Court and her mother for three-and-a-half years. They cannot be identified to protect her.
The couple were found guilty by a jury of forced marriage and using violence or coercion to get their daughter to enter into marriage without consent.
Since her ordeal, the victim has passed her driving test and attended university.
Judge Simon Phillips said: "Her endeavours to be successful may be regarded as a beacon of optimism in a dark case." In an emotional victim impact statement, the woman said: "I know I will always have to remain cautious, but knowing these monsters are going to be in prison, I feel the uttermost freedom in my heart."
"I want other girls to know that forcing someone to marry is wrong. 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 will not live in shame. I am now free."
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