Rapist jailed for 15 years

IPSWICH: A 36-year-old rapist is serving a 15-year jail sentence today after brutalising his wife physically and sexually throughout their arranged marriage.

The man responsible for the ‘honour crime’ cannot be named as the identity of his victim must be protected by law.

The abuse was uncovered when police were called to an address in Ipswich in March last year, as a result of a domestic incident the previous day.

When specialist officers interviewed the victim she told them she had been subjected to a systematic regime of violence and rape for around seven years at the hands of her husband.

The woman said she was taken from the UK at the age of 13 and forced into an arranged marriage in Bangladesh. Her husband was a relation, who was in his early 20s at the time.

The woman was kept in Bangladesh by her new family and only allowed to return to the UK once she had fallen pregnant, when aged 15.

Her husband joined her in the UK a few years later and they eventually moved to Ipswich.

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Following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court the husband was found guilty of rape.

After the case Bal Kaur Howard, project officer for ‘honour’-based crimes at Suffolk Constabulary, said: “This is a remarkable case of a young woman who came for help after years of suffering abuse at the hands of her husband. She is now safe and starting a new life.

“This will hopefully act as a strong message to others that there is help available and you do not have to suffer in silence.

“Arranged marriages are traditional in some religions, and indeed many succeed but it is important for people to know that forced marriage is an abuse of human rights. You have the right to choose, not your family.

“The police and local agencies are keen to encourage others to come forward, seek help, and speak out about their abuse.”

Sergeant Ben Hudson, who investigated the case, said: “This was a complex case of forced marriage and domestic abuse in the form of ‘honour’-based violence. The conviction is testimony to the determination and professionalism of the officers involved, and the support and strength of the victim.

“We are pleased that despite suffering serious and prolonged domestic abuse, the victim was able to put her trust in the police and the Crown Prosecution Service, and tell the jury what happened.”

For further information and support relating to domestic violence or abuse telephone the Suffolk helpline on 0800 7835121 or visit www.breakthepattern.org.uk.

Suffolk Hate Crime Service (SHCS) is keen for victims of a racist incident or any other type of abusive incident to report it to the police so it can be properly recorded, investigated and the relevant support offered.

To contact the service telephone 01473 668966, visit www.suffolkhatecrime.org.uk or e-mail report@suffolkhatecrime.org.uk.