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First Briton Jailed for Holding Spouse in Domestic Servitude

Last week Safraz Ahmed, the first ever Briton to be convicted of forcing their spouse into domestic servitude, was jailed for a total of two years.

A life of “violence, intimidation, aggression and misery”

Woolwich Crown Court heard how Mr Ahmed subjected his wife, Sumara Iram, to a life of “violence, intimidation, aggression and misery”. After moving to the UK following an arranged marriage in Pakistan, Sumara was forced to endure two and a half years of “physical and mental torture” by her husband.

The court heard how Mr Ahmed would often hit his wife and throw tins of cat food at her. Sumara would also receive constant abusive and degrading text messages, with Mr Ahmed once telling her that she should jump in front of a vehicle or into a river.

In court, Caroline Haughey, prosecuting, spoke of how Sumara – an educated woman who hailed from a liberal background – had arrived in the UK thinking her new husband would treat her well. She said:

“She expected, as any wife, that she was entering a harmonious household where she was an equal,

“He told her he had married her so she could look after his mother and his home.”

The court heard how Sumara was not just expected to tend to her husband, but his mother too, as well as any other relatives that might visit. She would have to start work at 5am in order to complete all of the cooking and cleaning for the entire household.

The prosecution told the court of one particular incident in which Sumara was struck by her husband for not attending to his sister to his standards. Haughey added:

“If the family told her to stand on one leg she should do it without question.”

Over two years of domestic servitude

Mr Ahmed admitted in court to holding his wife in domestic servitude over a two year period from the moment she arrived in the UK in 2012 up to 2015, at which point Sumara was taken to a refuge by police.

Mr Ahmed also admitted to one count of actual bodily harm having broken her nose in 2014, an incident which first brought the couple to the attention of local police. The court heard how neighbours called the police after they witnessed her standing outside the family home wearing just a dress and flip-flops despite the cold, before Mr Ahmed dragged her inside the house by her hair.

Arrest

Police arrested Mr Ahmed after noticing injuries to his wife’s nose and eye, but the following day Sumara signed a document asking for his release, adding that she was not being forced to do so.

However, once Sumara had left her husband, she told officers that the family had tried to keep her from going to the police by locking her in a bathroom, at one point locking her in the garden shed.

According to the prosecution years of mental abuse, including being told by her husband that he found her ‘disgusting’ and to jump in front a car, has left Sumara with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Haughey also told the court of an incident in which Mr Ahmed told his wife:

“You are scared of being alone, but you are not scared of my beatings.”

Haughey added:

“It was an atmosphere of fear, constantly punctuated by violence.”

In 2015, Sumara tried to end her own life, however after speaking with police, she was persuaded to seek shelter at a refuge.

“Brunt of his frustration”

Cathy Ryan, mitigating for Mr Ahmed, told the court that Sumara had arrived in the UK with expectations of marriage that were ‘a little unrealistic’. Ryan added that Mr Ahmed had changed his mind in the six years between their marriage and Sumara’s arrival in the UK, a delay that was apparently caused by her finishing a master’s degree and numerous visa issues. According to Ryan, Mr Ahmed was frustrated, she went on to say:

“It’s right to say that Sumara bore the brunt of this frustration.”

Responding to the prosecution’s assertion that Sumara was not allowed out without supervision, Ryan told the court that she often took her nephew to nursery alone and “could just have walked away if she wanted”. However, Ryan also added that this would have been unlikely due to her lack of contacts and poor English.

Safraz Ahmed was sentenced to eight months for assault causing actual bodily harm and two years in prison for one count of enforced domestic servitude, which will run concurrently.

Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in handling abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner. Our Abuse & Criminal Injuries Department is headed by Greg Neill – Greg is a member of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL).

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: The Guardian

Man Jailed after Attack Leaves Partner Unconscious

A man from Wigan has been jailed after he launched a violent attack on his partner when she ended their relationship.

Violent attack

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Daniel Halpin and Claire Etheridge started their relationship in June 2015 and after one month they moved in together.

Paul Treble, prosecuting, told the court that towards the end of 2015 however, the couple increasingly began to argue. On the evening of 18 December 2015 and the evening after, Miss Etheridge tried to explain to Halpin that she no longer wanted to be a part of the relationship. However Halpin simply ignored her attempts to end their relationship.

The court heard that on the following day, Miss Etheridge told Halpin to leave and an argument ensued. It was at this point that Halpin slapped Miss Etheridge round the back of the head.

Halpin then started to gather his possessions and upon leaving the bedroom, he punched Miss Etheridge with such force that the blow knocked her unconscious to the floor. Mr Treble told the court that when Miss Etheridge came to, she had difficulty seeing out of her eye. She went downstairs and approached Halpin for help but he pushed passed, swearing as he did so.

The prosecution added:

“When asked why he had done it he replied by laughing.”

Miss Etheridge’s mother was asleep upstairs at the time of the attack, when she awoke she immediately called the police. Once police officers arrived at the property, Halpin was arrested.

Miss Etheridge was left with a jaw displacement and a potential fracture to the side of her face.

When sentencing Halpin, Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said that he had “an appalling record for violence”. He went on to say:

“This was a particularly unpleasant domestic violence assault rendering the victim unconscious with unpleasant and painful facial injuries.”

Halpin, of Darlington Street East, Scholes, pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of a violent attack. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6 888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Alan Carr’s Tour Manager Attacked in Liverpool City Centre

The tour manager for comedian Alan Carr was seriously assaulted outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Liverpool city centre after he attempted to stop fans taking photos of Mr Carr.

Late night attack

Jaleel Burman assaulted Elliot Andrews after ushering him outside the McDonald’s restaurant at around 4am on 20 September last year. Burman punched Mr Andrews in the face, causing him to fall to the ground and he suffered a fractured ankle.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Mr Andrews was becoming increasingly nervous and concerned about his client becoming ‘overwhelmed’ by the number of fans wanting to take a photo with the star, who was visiting the city as part of his UK tour.

A number of intoxicated people were hassling Mr Carr and were told to ‘stop it’ by members of his entourage.

The court heard it was then that Mr Andrews was steered outside by Burman, who was assisted by a young woman.

Unprovoked

In what prosecutors called an unprovoked attack, Burman punched Mr Andrews, leaving him with facial injuries and a broken ankle, for which Mr Andrews received hospital treatment. Mr Andrews is said to be somewhat traumatised by the attack.

When interviewed by police, Burman admitted hurling himself at Mr Andrews in ‘the heat of the moment’.
Rob Jones, prosecuting, said:

‘Mr Andrews was a little bit excited by his client Mr Carr being overwhelmed by people wanting to take photos of him.

‘The defendant’s actions were way over the top, particularly after he escorted Mr Andrews out of the building.’

Judge Denis Watson, who ordered a pre-sentence report on Burman, told him:

‘I’m told the CCTV is going to be very informative. All sentencing options will be open, including an immediate custodial sentence.’

Burman, of Wavertree, Liverpool, admitted causing grievous bodily harm at Liverpool Crown Court and was released on unconditional bail. He could face jail when he is sentenced in March.

Criminal injury – expert advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: Mail Online

Man Jailed for 32 Months for Attacking Friend

A man has been jailed for leaving his former friend needing life-long care after he attacked him as he slept.

Violent attack

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Craig Martin was asleep on the sofa at his mother’s house when Richard Evans ‘burst in’ and repeatedly punched him. According to the prosecution, Mr Evans struck Mr Martin around eight times, attacking him so violently that he suffered a cardiac arrest and was unconscious for three quarters of an hour.

The court heard that the attack, which has left Mr Martin with neurological damage including visual, cognitive and memory problems, occurred following a minor dispute between the pair on Facebook.

Life-changing injuries

Since the attack, Mr Martin has had a defibrillator inserted in his chest and requires constant, around the clock care. Medics warned that Mr Martin, who suffered from a genetic heart condition at the time of the assault, could have died at any moment during the attack and is now unable to care for his children.

Peter Hussey, prosecuting, said:

“He remains unable to perform daily tasks without being prompted to do so, is unable to initiate things for himself and he has difficulty making choices…

“He becomes frustrated and angry and it is feared he may never be able to live independently.”

Judge Graham Morrow, QC, said he hoped that Mr Evans will walk away from violence in future. He added:

“Your mindless action could have easily led to fatal consequences.”

Evans, of Challis Street, Birkenhead, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed at Liverpool Crown Court for a total of 32 months.

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is, however, a government Scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families who have been the innocent victims of violent crime. The Scheme is called the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme and is governed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: Liverpool Echo

Student Avoids Jail after Manchester City Centre Attack

A student who stabbed a man in the eye with her stiletto heeled shoe has been handed a suspended sentence this week.

Incident

Justin Lloyd, 22, was attacked by Shadiya Omar, also 22, after he had a disagreement with her friend whilst waiting for a taxi after a night out in Manchester.

Manchester Crown Court was told that Mr Lloyd approached Miss Omar’s friend to offer her a crisp from the packet he was eating. The woman declined his offer, knocking the packet from Mr Lloyd’s hand. In response to her actions, Mr Lloyd attempted to empty the contents of the crisp packet over the woman’s head. It was at this point that Miss Omar ran to her friend’s ‘aid’ and she hit Mr Lloyd in the face with her high heeled shoe.

Jonathan Savage, prosecuting, said:

‘He was then struck a single blow to the left eye with an object.

‘His next reaction was feeling that he has been hit in the eye and feeling a long object in front of his left eye, he had to pull it out.’

The court heard how the two women then attempted to leave the scene in a taxi, leading to a dispute between the women and Mr Lloyd’s group of friends. Police were called to the scene and they proceeded to arrest Miss Omar.

Injuries

Mr Lloyd was taken to both Manchester Royal Infirmary and Manchester Eye Hospital, where he was treated for injuries to his left eye.

The court heard he suffered bleeding, bruising and abrasions to his lower eye lid, and further abrasions to his upper lid. Mr Lloyd also suffered a fracture to the eye orbit of his left eye. ‘Miraculously’ he did not lose his sight, however he has since suffered stabbing pains in his eye and has been affected psychologically since the incident.

Mr Lloyd’s victim impact statement was read out in court and described how he was forced to quit his job as a labourer and has become self-conscious, due to the scarring he now has on his left eye.

Mr Savage continued:

‘Looking in the mirror every day, he would be constantly having a reminder of the pain he has been suffering.’

Defence & Sentencing

David Morton, defence lawyer for Miss Omar, explained that she had removed her shoes as they had become painful. According to Mr Morton, she did not intend to use them as a weapon. He went on to say that Miss Omar had no motive to strike Mr Lloyd and was waving her shoe to try and attempt to stop him from ‘hassling’ her friend. He said:

‘She acted using excessive self-defence, describing the group as intimidating very tall young men who were clearly aware of their level of intoxication.’

Miss Omar was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 2 years.

Judge Lindsey Kushner QC also ordered Miss Omar to complete 6 months of supervised unpaid community work. Further to this, Miss Omar was told she must pay a £100 victim surcharge.

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is however a government scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families at this tragic time. The scheme is called CICA (The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority). Once your claim is accepted by Hampson Hughes Solicitors, we will liaise with CICA on your behalf.

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: Mail Online

Man Jailed for Violent Assault on Ex-partner

Geraldine Faber, from Blackpool, has been left with no sense of taste or smell following an incident in which she was violently attacked by her ex-partner.

Incident

The mother of one, whose toddler was present at the time of the assault, was struck hard in the nose and the side of the head by David Darbyshire, 44, after she told him their relationship was over.

Derbyshire has now been jailed for the assault, which took place when he arrived, intoxicated, at Geraldine’s house in September 2014. Geraldine has since had numerous operations in the hopes of repairing her injuries, however even though it has been over a year since the attack, her sense of taste and smell have not returned.

Geraldine said:

‘I can’t taste a thing. I used to love a roast dinner, but I might as well eat carpet now.

‘My sense of smell has gone too. I can’t smell my son’s nappies, and I can’t tell if the dinner is burning. It worries me that I can’t smell smoke or gas – I worry I might not be able to look after my son in an emergency.

‘It’s a disability and something I’ve had to adapt to.’

Sentencing

Throughout the trial Darbyshire denied the charge. However, he was sentenced to 36 weeks in prison after being convicted of actual bodily harm by the jury at Preston Crown Court in September 2015.

Sentencing, Judge Philip Sycamore, said:

‘This was a very serious incident of domestic violence.

‘The court of appeal has made it abundantly clear that those who involve themselves in domestic violence, particularly where there are aggravating features as there are in this case with the assault taking place in the complainant’s own home while there were children present, in circumstances where she felt she had to leave the property, and where there is an ongoing effect, including the need for corrective surgery, go to custody.’

Criminal Injury – Expert Advice

We understand that if you have been subjected to an act of violence, your thoughts will turn to making a full recovery – compensation will likely be the last thing on your mind.

There is however a government scheme that provides compensation to victims or their families at this tragic time. The scheme is called CICA (The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority). Once your claim is accepted by Hampson Hughes Solicitors, we will liaise with CICA on your behalf.

If you would like expert advice on this type of case, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email claims@hampsonhughes.com

Source: Mail Online

Three Arrested Following BBC Panorama Investigation

Three men have been arrested following a recent Panorama investigation into alleged abuse at a young offenders’ centre in Kent.

Allegations of Child Neglect

The BBC programme saw investigators go under cover at Medway Secure Training Centre in Rochester, which is run by security firm G4S, highlighting numerous allegations of the inappropriate behaviour of staff members.

The three men have been held on suspicion of child neglect relating to ten boys, with ages ranging from 14 to 17. They are among four team leaders at Medway that were sacked earlier this week.

The allegations of abuse highlighted by BBC Panorama include:

• Foul language being used by staff to frighten and intimidate;
• Staff boasting about incidents of mistreatment, including stabbing one teenager in the leg with a fork and causing another to cry uncontrollably;
• Staff slapping a teenager’s head multiple times;
• Staff utilising unnecessary restraint methods;
• Staff ‘pressing heavily’ on the necks of teenagers.

Further to this, it has been alleged that incidents such as the above are often carried out in areas within the centre that are not covered by CCTV in an attempt by staff to conceal any inappropriate conduct.

Suspensions

A further three men have been suspended at the centre following the claims, including a training centre assistant and two duty operation managers. Whilst a female duty operation manager has been put on restricted duty and a healthcare worker (employed by Central and North West London Trust) has also been suspended from their position.

A spokesperson for the Trust has said:

“One CNWL staff member contacted us before the programme to say that they had been present at one incident in the film; the footage broadcast confirmed this.

“Whilst we are pleased he came forward, he has been suspended whilst that incident is fully investigated.”

Reaction of G4S

Managing director for children’s services at G4S, Paul Cook, has released a statement saying that the police and relevant authorities have the firm’s full support and cooperation. He added that they will continue to provide police with access to their centres, records and CCTV footage.

“There is no place in our business for the conduct shown on the BBC’s Panorama programme on Monday night.

“We are grateful to the police for their swift action in this case.

“We will work with the police and local authority to keep our own actions under review in light of today’s developments.”

All claims have been referred by G4S to the Ministry of Justice and the Youth Justice Board, as well as Medway’s local authority designated officer.

Abuse Claims – Expert Advice

Hampson Hughes Solicitors specialises in handling abuse claims in a considerate and compassionate manner.

For an open and friendly conversation about your situation, and to find out how we can assist you relevant to your individual experience, call 0800 888 6888 or email info@hh-law.co.uk

You will be given the direct-dial of your case handler, meaning that you will always be able to reach the person you need.

Source: BBC News