Deaf girl held as slave tells court of years of beatings and rape

A deaf and mute girl kept in a cellar, raped and treated as a virtual slave told a British court of years of beatings and cruelty.

The victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury she suffered almost a decade of al abuse after being trafficked to Britain from Pakistan in 2000, supposedly to work as a domestic help — even though she was only around 10 years old at the time.

The orphaned child was slapped, beaten, sexually abused and hit with a rolling pin while forced to work for no money during the day, the court heard.

At night, the victim was made to sleep on the concrete floor of a cellar with the door bolted, the Manchester court heard.

Her alleged abusers were Ilyas Ashar, 83, and his wife, Tallat Ashar, 66, who deny charges of false imprisonment, human trafficking, sexual offences, violence and benefit fraud.

The girl told of her treatment while at their home on Cromwell Road, Salford, Greater Manchester.

Asked to describe her life in her own words, via an interpreter and sign language, she told the jury: “I was sad and weak because I was working so hard. They used to hit me from being very, very little, all the time.

“I used to cook and clean for hours and hours.

“[Tallat Ashar] used to hit me with her ring, she used to hit me in the face and cut my face with her ring. It hurt. She would scratch me.

“I would be down in the cellar, sitting alone and very upset. I would sit there for a long, long time, really upset and crying. I could not get out.”

The girl, being deaf, would put cups and crockery down on tables but Tallat Ashar would complain that she put them down too hard and made too much noise, and so would slap her, she said.

At 7am, while the girl was drinking and eating, Ashar Tallat would allegedly come to the cellar, clicking her fingers and demanding she stop and get on with her jobs.

Shaking her head and wringing her hands together on her lap, the girl added: “The woman and that man would do that to me. They are bad.”

Shown a photo of Tallat Ashar and asked to identify her abuser, the girl said: “That’s the woman who used to hit me and beat me all the time as I was growing up.

“All through my life she’s been hitting me.”

She was also shown a photo of Ilyas Ashar, who allegedly repeatedly raped the girl.

“The old man, he’s bad,” she said. “He’s the one who has sex with me.”

The victim’s true age is not known but it is thought she was aged between 10 and 12 when she came to England.

Earlier, the trial heard the girl lived in a “state of servitude” and was an ideal target for exploitation because of her vulnerability.

It is also alleged that state benefits were claimed in her name — though never handed over.

She has no family in England, has never been to school either in England or Pakistan, and cannot read or write. She had no-one to turn to and nowhere to go if she had tried to leave the Ashars.

Ilyas and Tallat Ashar both deny two counts of human trafficking for exploitation and a single count of false imprisonment.

Ilyas also denies 12 counts of rape, Tallat denies one count of sexual assault and unlawful wounding and the pair, along with their daughter Faaiza, 44, deny charges of benefit fraud.

The case continues in Minshull St Crown Court.


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