London: A deaf, Pakistani girl was trafficked to the UK and kept as a virtual slave in a cellar for almost 10 years by an elderly couple, a court was told.
Locked in a cellar each night, the 10-year-old was repeatedly raped and forced to carry out chores including cooking, cleaning, sewing and washing.
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 that the girl was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Ashar and stabbed in the stomach.
Prosecutor Peter Cadwallader said that 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,” the Daily Mail quoted Cadwallader as telling Minshull Street Crown Court.
“She was a victim of threats and violence throughout her life from being a little girl.”
“She was made to cook, clean and do the washing and ironing. She was also made to clean houses and business premises for friends and relations of the Ashars.”
“She also washed cars in the drive of the house – in essence she lived in a state of servitude,” he said.
She was kept locked at night so that she couldn’t escape.
“At night the door at the top of the stairs down to the cellar was locked and bolted so she could not get out during the night.”
“During the day, presumably when she displeased Tallat Ashar, she was pushed into the cellar, pushed down the stairs and the door locked. She would sit there for hours crying and locked in,” he said.
Police called at the house in 2009 and found the girl – now aged around 19 – sleeping in the cellar.
Cadwallader added that the girl had remained a captive for almost 10 years because she knew no one and had absolutely nowhere to go.