Judicial condemnation of co-ercion and assault

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Helen Gavaghan, Bradford, Crown Court (UK), 8th June, 2017

For 18 months two Bradford-based brothers behaved to their women relatives in a manner akin to enslavement. Judge Rose sentenced each to concurrent terms of 32 months in custody for co-ercive behaviour and assault.

Faisal Hussien (25) was sent to prison, while his younger brother, Ahmed Arbaaz (19) will serve his time in a young offenders' institution.

Judge Rose read aloud from a letter sent to him by Faisal Hussien, in which Mr Hussien said his Islamic religion forbids the behaviour he and his brother indulged in, which included limiting access to buckets of water for washing, and handing out only £1.00 a month for sanitary products. The two brothers had pleaded guilty, and apologised.

Judge Rose said he did not care what the brothers' religion forbade. As far as he, the judge, was concerned, while living in the UK, they must obey UK laws.

In mitigation one of the defence counsel speculated the brothers' behaviour might have been learned in Tanzania, from observing their father's actions. Counsel admitted that might be "cod" psychology.

His honour imposed restraining orders, even though the victims said they did not want that to happen. The brothers were sentenced despite the victims saying they wished to withdraw their complaints. Judge Rose said he favoured eventual re-integration of the family unit, under supervised conditions.

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