Tag Archives: Britain

Authorities Break up International Pedophile Ring That Streamed Live Child Abuse

Global operation sees 29 arrested across 14 countries

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Police in the UK, US, and Australia have dismantled an international ring of pedophiles accused of streaming live video of child abuse from the Philippines.

LONDON – Child abuse investigators in the United States, Britain and Australia have dismantled an organized crime group that live-streamed child sexual abuse to order from the Philippines.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said an international investigation broke up the ring, resulting in 29 arrests people in 12 countries who had paid to watch the abuse.

Police describe the use of webcams to stream live child abuse — especially from developing countries — as a “significant and emerging threat.”

“This investigation has identified some extremely dangerous child sexual offenders who believed paying for children to be abused to order was something they could get away with,” said Andy Baker, the deputy director of the agency’s command for child protection. “Being thousands of miles away makes no difference to their guilt. In my mind they are just as responsible for the abuse of these children as the contact abusers overseas.”

The investigation began after a routine visit to Timothy Ford, a registered sex offender in Britain. Police found a number of indecent videos on his computer and contacted child abuse investigators, touching off a global investigation beginning in 2012.

UK authorities worked with the Australian Federal Police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers as well as the International Justice Mission, a non-governmental group. Together the agencies presented their data to authorities in the Philippines to identify offenders and victims.

The investigation — codenamed Operation Endeavour — identified 733 suspects and has resulted in some convictions, including Ford, who was sentenced in March to 8 ½ years in prison. The agency said Ford paid to watch the live abuse and had planned to move to the Philippines to set up an internet cafe.
Ford and another man, Thomas Owen, had discussed traveling to the Philippines together. Ford, who uses a wheelchair, “suggested that Owen could act as his carer so they could travel to the Philippines together in an attempt to avoid detection,” police said.

Owen, who was found with nearly 4 million indecent images of children, was sentenced in July to seven years in prison.

Authorities in the Philippines issued three search warrants in 2012, and 15 children aged between 6 and 15 were rescued and placed in the custody of social welfare services.

Stephanie McCourt, of the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center, which is now part of the NCA, told the BBC that pedophiles should know that the Internet is not a “safe place for them.”

“They must also not be under the mistaken impression that this is a crime which carries no guilt because it happens on the other side of the world,” she said. “It is just as bad, just as harmful as though it was happening to the children right here in the U.K.”

The arrests underscored the well-established problem of cybercrime rings victimizing children in impoverished communities.

Community support to eradicate the problem is crucial because the crime often is concealed in the privacy of homes away from the attention of authorities, said Mayor Michael Rama of Cebu city in the central Philippines, a region where some of the abuses have been reported.

“When you have some poverty, the availability of information and technology and the attraction for easy money, these abuses happen,” Rama told The Associated Press by telephone. “City hall can fight this but if the villages don’t get involved, what’s going to happen?”

Philippine police Senior Superintendent Gilbert Sosa, who heads an anti-cybercrime unit, said incidents of abuse have been monitored in Cebu, Manila and Angeles city north of the capital.

Impoverished parents allow their children to be sexually abused and watched by paying foreigners via the internet in exchange for $100 to $200, Sosa said.

“We’re continuing with our operations,” Sosa said. “We’ve not eradicated this.”

 

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Brothers separated for 43 years by cruel child migrant scheme finally reunited

Brothers separated for 43 years by cruel child migrant scheme to Australia finally reunited in Britain after desperate search

  • Bruce, Rex and Kevin Wilton reunited in Cornwall after 43 years apart
  • Separated in 1970 when youngest brothers were shipped to Tasmania
  • Rex returned to UK in his 20s but Kevin remained in Australia
  • Youngest sibling was tracked down in New South Wales four years ago
  • Brothers were able to reunite with the help of the Family Restoration Fund
  • Men suffered ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ abuse while in care overseas
  • Over 130,000 children were shipped abroad in ‘shameful’ program
Kevin (left), Rex (centre) and Bruce Wilton (right) have been reunited after 43 years apart.

Kevin (left), Rex (centre) and Bruce Wilton (right) have been reunited after 43 years apart.

By JENNIFER SMITH

Three brothers who were torn apart when two were shipped to Australia as part of the child migrant scheme in seventies have been reunited in Britain – 43 years after the last time they were all together.

Rex, Bruce and Kevin Wilton were separated as children after being taken into care following the death of their father.

However as authorities decided the care for unwanted children had become too expensive, the boys, like thousands of others, were offered the chance of a ‘better’ life abroad.

Kevin, Bruce and Rex as children in their Cornwall home. Bruce was just seven when the boys were taken into care by a foster family in the UK

Kevin, Bruce and Rex as children in their Cornwall home. Bruce was just seven when the boys were taken into care by a foster family in the UK

While the eldest brother Bruce opted to stay and work on a British pig farm instead, his younger siblings were shipped to work on farms in Australia where they endured ‘mental and physical abuse’.

The boys lost touch shortly after their departure, and went decades without a hint of each other’s whereabouts.

But, with the help of the Child Migrant Trust, the family from Mevagissey in Cornwall have been able to reunite in the UK.

Father-of-three Bruce said: ‘It was very emotional.

‘It was great for my kids and family to meet them. It’s still sinking in that we’re finally together as a three.’

The boys lived together with a foster family before being asked if they'd like to go to Australia, described to them in school as 'the land of opportunity'

The boys lived together with a foster family before being asked if they’d like to go to Australia, described to them in school as ‘the land of opportunity’

Kevin and Rex Wilton at their childhood home in Cornwall in the 1960s. The pair were sent to Tazmania as children but lost contact shortly after arriving Kevin and Rex Wilton at their childhood home in Cornwall in the 1960s. The pair hadn't seen each other for 21 years before last week

Kevin and Rex Wilton at their childhood home in Cornwall in the 1960s. The pair were sent to Tazmania as children but lost contact shortly after arriving
Rex and Kevin Wilton recall suffering mental and physical abuse during their time in Tazmania where thousands of children were sent to work as part of the scheme

Rex and Kevin Wilton recall suffering mental and physical abuse during their time in Tazmania where thousands of children were sent to work as part of the scheme

The boys boarded the last deportee plane to Australia from Britain in 1970 - three years after the child migrant programme was scrapped

The boys boarded the last deportee plane to Australia from Britain in 1970 – three years after the child migrant programme was scrapped

The boys were taken into care in when Bruce was seven after their father, who had ‘walked out’ on them and their mother, in Cornwall.

After living together in foster homes for seven years, they were offered the chance to go to Australia in a school assembly announcement.

Bruce chose to stay in the UK while his younger siblings boarded the very last deportee plane in December 1970.

The oldest of the brothers told Mail Online: ‘I remember, later, I regretted not going.’

‘As I got older every time I saw a book or a poster about Australia it reminded me I had lost my brothers.

‘We were told it was the land of opportunity. But, now, hearing what happened to them out there, I’m glad I didn’t go,’ he said.

Younger brothers Rex and Kevin were sent to Tasmania where they worked on farms together for several years before being separated.

When asked what kind of treatment they endured, their older brother simply said: ‘Slave labour’.

‘There were hundreds of them out there, hundreds,’ Bruce added.

The boy's mother, Marina Violet Wade, put them into care as she felt she couldn't cope following their father's death

The boy’s mother, Marina Violet Wade, put them into care as she felt she couldn’t cope following their father’s death

Rex, who was just 11 when sent overseas said: ‘The whole experience ruined my life. We were treated like slaves. It was wrong and should never have happened.

‘The care home was brutal – if the grass wasn’t cut in a certain way you’d be punished for it and he’d throw things at you like a stone or a shovel until it was done right.’

‘I believe that all our choices, by being in Australia, were taken away from us.’

Disillusioned with the country he’d been sent to in the hope of a better life, Rex returned to the UK in his 20s after selling all of his possessions to buy a ticket.

His search for older brother Bruce took a fortuitous turn one day while on he was on a train to Plymouth.

Bruce, 57, recalls how his younger brother ‘met a rather innocuous woman’ who was able to track him down after the pair got chatting on the train.

‘I don’t know how she was able to find me,’ he said, ‘but she did,’ adding the woman – who neither of them had ever met – happened to know where Bruce worked at the time.

They were reunited and began searching for youngest brother, Kevin, though this proved a more difficult feat.

‘It was just blockage after blockage after blockage – a series of dead ends,’ said Bruce.

‘It wasn’t that we didn’t want to find him it was just so difficult back then,’.

But in 2010, following former Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s apology to surviving migrant children, they were able to find their long-lost brother with the help of the Child Migrant Trust.

‘Rex found them,’ Bruce said, speaking of Kevin and his family, who were living in New South Wales at the time.

After their daughters began communicating on Facebook, the men arranged Kevin’s overdue return to Cornwall.

Speaking of their separate lives, Kevin, a retired miner said: ‘I have such fond memories of us as young boys and the jokes and laughter are still exactly the same.

THE CHILD MIGRATION PROGRAMME THAT TORE THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES APART AND LED TO THE HORRIFIC ABUSE OF ‘ORPHANED’ CHILDREN

The origins of the scheme go back to 1618 when a hundred children were sent from London to Richmond, Virginia, with the final party of children arriving in Australia in 1970.
It is estimated that over 130,000 children from the United Kingdom were taken away from their struggling families and shipped to Canada, New Zealand, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) and Australia as part of the programme which saw these vulnerable children as ‘ideal immigrants’.
In the post-war era, approximately 3,300 children were shipped to Australia while New Zealand, Rhodesia and Canada received a combined total of about 1,000 children.
It is thought the children, often as young as three, were separated from their siblings and told their parents were dead in order for them to make a fresh start abroad.
They were sent away with the expectation of a better life in a foreign land, but the reality that awaited them was one of torment and abuse.
Most were enslaved to hard labour on farms in Australia and Canada, while in New Zealand children were placed with foster parents.
Bruce and Kevin Wilton pictured in 1962. After finding brother Rex, Bruce tracked down their youngest sibling in New South Wales last year

Bruce and Kevin Wilton pictured in 1962. After finding brother Rex, Bruce tracked down their youngest sibling in New South Wales last year

Rex and Kevin Wilton pictured just four years before being sent to Tazmania in 1970. Rex was 11 while Kevin was just nine when they left Britain

Rex and Kevin Wilton pictured just four years before being sent to Tazmania in 1970. Rex was 11 while Kevin was just nine when they left Britain

‘THE ABSOLUTE TRAGEDY OF CHILDHOODS LOST’: BRITAIN AND AUSTRALIA APOLOGISE TO MIGRANT CHILDREN FOR ‘THE DEPORTATION OF INNOCENTS’

In 2009  Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologised to the surviving migrant children in Canberra, expressing remorse for the ‘absolute tragedy of childhoods lost’.
Speaking to an audience of around 900, he said: ‘We are sorry.
‘Sorry that, as children, you were taken from your families and placed in institutions where so often you were abused.
‘Sorry for the physical suffering, the emotional starvation and the cold absence of love, of tenderness, of care.’
‘A turning point for shattered lives, a turning point for governments at all levels and of every political hue and colour to do all in our power to never allow this to happen again.’
The following year Prime Minister Gordon Brown issued a separate apology for the ‘misguided’ scheme.
Speaking in the House of Commons the former Chancellor said: ‘To all those former child migrants and their families… we are truly sorry. They were let down.
‘We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back.
‘And we are sorry that the voices of these children were not always heard, their cries for help not always heeded.
‘And we are sorry that it has taken so long for this important day to come and for the full and unconditional apology that is justly deserved.’
Mr Brown subsequently set up a £6million fund to help surviving families reunite.
It was this fund that enabled the Wilton brothers to come together after being separated for 43 years.
 
The boy's mother, Marina Violet Wade, put them into care as she felt she couldn't cope following their father's death

The boy’s mother, Marina Violet Wade, put them into care as she felt she couldn’t cope following their father’s death

‘I never thought we would get the chance to be together as a three again. There’s no way we’re going to lose contact again – I’ve missed them both so much.’

Speaking of the sequence of events that tore them apart, Kevin said: ‘We were too young to realize what was really going to happen.

‘When we arrived out there it was a extremely hard.

‘There was both physical and mental abuse at the home. They treated you just like a number – you never had any choices.

‘Myself and Rex had stayed in contact through letters but we eventually lost contact.

‘They sent me from place to place but over time Australia started to feel like home and I decided to stay.’

During Kevin’s visit the brothers plan to introduce him to other family members and spend their time visiting places from their childhood.

‘We went back to our hometown where we spent most of our childhood. It was like walking back in time.

‘It was very special,’ said Rex.

Though Kevin is due to return to Australia next month, the men are certain not to lose touch again with – especially since their children have established communication with each other online.

‘It was very sad what happened to us back in the 70s,’ said Bruce.

‘But you know, now we’re back together it’s as though we were never apart.’

 

 

 

Forced to Marry: Beaten, Raped, Almost Murdered by Family

Campaigners and support groups say forced arranged marriage of young British Muslim girls is becoming a bigger problem every day

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Campaigners and support groups say forced arranged marriage of young British Muslim girls is becoming a bigger problem every day

By 

She grew up like most teenage girls in Britain – coveting the latest fashions, experimenting with make-up and hanging out with her mates after school.

Her Muslim parents, who ran a shop, were respected members of the community. Ayesha, whose name we have changed to protect her identity, was always encouraged to follow her dream of becoming a police officer.

But immediately she turned 18, she was taken on a family holiday to Pakistan – and her carefree life would never be the same again.

Days after arriving, she was forced by her father and two uncles into marrying a stranger.

Terrifyingly, it led to her being trapped in a marriage for four-and-a-half years, during which she was routinely raped.

When she dared to complain, she was threatened by her uncles. And when she tried to flee, they tracked her down and tried to kill her.

Ayesha eventually escaped, and today bravely tells her story to expose the growing problem of forced arranged marriages that is sweeping our towns and cities.

Each year 10,000 take place in the UK, and last month a shocking ITV documentary caught 12 Muslim clerics agreeing to marry off girls aged only 14.

Those youngsters who put up a fight often fall victim to honor-based violence, which can end in murder. even now Ayesha lives in hiding to protect herself.

As part of her campaign to raise awareness, she works with the police to help support other victims. Ayesha, now 36, says she enjoyed a “pretty normal school life”. She adds: “My parents were strict about not being allowed to mix with boys, go clubbing, have sleepovers or bare my legs. But apart from that I had a relaxed upbringing.”

She reveals how aged 17 she begged to be allowed to live in a flat-share while attending college.

“My parents finally gave in,” she says. “I went to the pub, had a drink and smoked, but didn’t go off the rails. Then things started to get weird.

“My uncle started turning up on my doorstep, saying I was bringing shame on our family. He said that if I ever left, he had a network of people and he would find me and kill me.

“I didn’t want to live the life of an Asian Muslim girl. I was British and I wanted to be just like everyone else… so I ran.”

But her family used a series of tricks to find her. “First they reported me to the police for theft,” she says.

Ayesha with her husband

Life of Hell: Ayesha with her husband

“Police turned up and alerted my family to my location. When I moved again, my uncles used my national insurance number to find me. They would turn up on my doorstep with death threats and blackmail.”

After months of harassment, Ayesha was so scared she went home. “That’s when I realised I was in even more danger,” she says. “My uncle tried to strangle me. My parents stood silently and watched him hurt and threaten me.”

Months later, in 1996, came the holiday to Pakistan. She says: “Loads of family started turning up telling me I should marry this man I’d never met. I was terrified. I realised there was no way I was going home unless I agreed to marry.”

She tells how it took a year for her new husband to get his visa to join her in the UK. Meantime she travelled back and forth.

“Our married life was hideous,” she says. “I was raped for the whole four-and-a-half years. He beat me, controlled and manipulated me. I felt worthless.”

When Ayesha dared rebel against her husband, her parents chillingly warned her: “Apologise or get divorced and marry an old man. You’re damaged goods now and no one else will want you.”

It was the final straw and she even attempted suicide. Luckily she was talked out of it by a friend.

She fled and made the decision never to contact her family again. But within days they had tracked her down to a friend’s house.

She tells how in November 2000, her uncles tried to kill her by ramming her car off the road.

Police were called and her husband and uncles were arrested on charges of attempted murder.

The charges were later dropped as police believed the family’s story that they feared she had been kidnapped and were trying to save her.

Six months later Ayesha moved away, met a new partner and they set up home together. But she says: “I slept with a knife under my pillow.”

She had no contact with her family for many years until in 2008 she learned that her grandmother had cancer. She got back in touch and now has limited contact with her parents.

But they have no idea where she lives, and she says her new partner wants nothing to do with them. Through it all, though, the family bonds are still strong – so much so that Ayesha is now even considering donating a kidney to her father, who is on the transplant list.

She says: “My partner doesn’t understand how I can even think about helping my dad after all that happened but I have had to forgive to stop the nightmares.”

As well as assisting the police, Ayesha is now also working with Karma Nirvana, a charity which helps victims like herself.

“When I made the call to them, I felt the weight of the world come off my shoulders,” she explains.

Britain’s Underage Muslim Marriage Epidemic

The imam of Birmingham’s Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif Mosque (pictured above) agreed to perform the marriage of a 14-year-old girl against her will.

by Soeren Kern

More than a dozen Muslim clerics at some of the biggest mosques in Britain have been caught on camera agreeing to marry off girls as young as 14.

Undercover reporters filming a documentary about the prevalence of forced and underage marriage in Britain for the television program ITV Exposure secretly recorded 18 Muslim imams agreeing to perform an Islamic marriage, known as a nikah, between a 14-year-old girl and an older man.

Campaigners against forced marriage — which is not yet a crime in Britain — say thousands of underage girls — including some under the age of five — are being forced to marry against their will in Muslim nikahs every year, and that the examples exposed by the documentary represent just “the tip of the iceberg.”

The documentary, entitled “Forced to Marry,” was first broadcast on October 9 and involves two reporters posing as the mother and brother of a 14-year-old girl to be married to an older man. The reporters contacted 56 mosques across Britain and asked clerics to perform a nikah. The imams were specifically told that the “bride” did not consent to the marriage to an older man from London.

Although the legal age for marriage in Britain is 16, according to Islamic Sharia law girls can marry once they reach puberty. The imams who agreed to marry the girl openly mocked the legitimacy of British law, reflecting the rise of a parallel Islamic legal system in Britain.

One of the Muslim clerics who agreed to perform the underage marriage is Mohammed Shahid Akhtar, the imam of the Central Jamia Masjid Ghamkol Sharif Mosque in Birmingham, the second-largest mosque in Britain with a capacity of more than 5,000 worshippers.

On being informed that the girl did not want to get married, Akhtar replied: “She’s 14. By Sharia, grace of God, she’s legal to get married. Obviously Islam has made it easy for us. There is nothing against that. We’re doing it because it’s okay through Islam.”

The documentary also shows Akhtar expressing his contempt for British marriage laws: “You’ve got the kaffirs[non-believers], the law, the English people that … you know, you can’t get married twice but, by the grace of God, we can get married four times.”

An undercover UK investigation revealed that Imams at some of Britain's biggest mosques were willing to marry off girls as young as 14. (Shutterstock)

An undercover UK investigation revealed that Imams at some of Britain’s biggest mosques were willing to marry off girls as young as 14. (Shutterstock)

Another cleric who agreed to marry the 14 year old girl is Mufti Shams al-Huda al-Misbahi, who preaches at the Jamia Masjid Kanzul Iman Mosque in Heckmondwike, a town near Leeds in north-central England.

When the undercover reporter, posing as the brother of the girl to be married, says, “She’s not willing now, but she will be,” Misbahi responds: “If you make her willing, she will be willing.” He is then filmed saying that he would perform the marriage without providing an official marriage certificate valid under British law. “We’ll make everything okay by Islam. We’ll write down and put it in our records.” Misbahi goes on to tell the undercover reporters that the girl will be able to live with her new husband after the ceremony.

Misbahi is a senior Muslim cleric who has worked with the West Yorkshire Police as an advisor on community cohesion, a British concept that refers to the integration of Muslim immigrants within a multicultural society. Before being caught on camera advocating forced marriage, Misbahi had publicly condemned the practice for many years.

Another imam at the Al Quba Mosque and Shahporan Islamic Center in Manchester was filmed saying: “I can get you someone to do the nikah for you, that’s not going to be a problem.”

The documentary includes an interview with Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Northwest England. “Forced marriage is probably the last form of slavery in the UK,” he says.

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post, Aneeta Prem, founder of the Freedom Charity which educates children about forced marriage, said: “I think whoever is involved in this, you are talking about child abuse and exploitation and it is something we need to stop. People are too culturally sensitive when dealing with this, they are worried about offending particular groups. We have to say it’s immoral and illegal and stamp it out. I think what we are hearing about is the tip of the iceberg, it is a huge problem.”

At least 250 children are known to have been subjected to forced marriage in Britain in 2012, including a two-year-old girl who is believed to be the country’s youngest victim of the practice.

The statistics were provided by the British government’s Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) as part of an ongoing effort to create a law that would criminalize forced marriage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The custom is already illegal in Scotland.

Overall, the FMU said it gave advice or support related to nearly 1,500 cases of forced marriage during 2012, although experts say the vast majority of forced marriages in Britain go unreported. A study produced by NatCen Social Research, a British think tank, estimates that the real number of forced marriages in Britain probably exceeds 8,000 per year.

Most of the instances of forced marriage in Britain involve Muslim families from South Asia, particularly Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Many of the cases involve Muslim children who are taken abroad by their parents and forced to marry against their will. During the 2013 summer holidays, for example, an average of five girls were believed to have been taken out of Britain every day to be forcibly married abroad. Forced marriages also often involve horrors such as kidnapping, beatings and rape.

Prime Minister David Cameron has compared the practice of forced marriage to modern day slavery and has said people should not “shy away” from addressing the issue because of political correctness. “For too long in this country we have thought, ‘Well, it’s a cultural practice and we just have to run with it,'” Cameron said. “We don’t. It’s a crime.”

In May 2013, Cameron submitted a bill to Parliament that would make forcing someone to marry a specific criminal offense. The measure is part of the Anti-Social Behavior, Crime and Policing Bill slowly working its way through the House of Commons, the lower house of the British Parliament.

To be sure, not everyone in Britain is in favor of making forced marriage a crime. According to a research document published by the House of Commons Library on September 16, 2013, some campaigners on the issue are worried that victims could be deterred from coming forward because they will not want to risk relatives going to prison. Others argue it may lead to youngsters being taken overseas at an earlier age to be put through forced marriages. Still others question how allegations of forced marriage would be proven to the criminal standard of proof: beyond reasonable doubt.

Another reason why Britain is taking so long to outlaw forced marriage involves multicultural sensitivities. Many promoters of British multiculturalism say the move to criminalize forced marriage will unfairly single out Muslims.

journal article entitled “A Civil Rather than Criminal Offence? Forced Marriage, Harm and the Politics of Multiculturalism in the UK” argues that the reluctance in Britain to criminalize forced marriage is due, in part, to the influence that multicultural ideals have had on current British approaches to the practice.

The article also attributes the British preference for civil remedies rather than criminal legislation to the tendency of the state to conceptualize the harms of forced marriage principally in terms of a violation of choice, rather than as a matter of long-term violence against women.

The question arises as to whether, by adopting such an approach, the state may be giving rise to a two-tier system of rights, in which minority group women are afforded a lesser protection of their human rights, as a result of their racial or cultural background.

Back in 1999, former Labour Party Home Office Minister Mike O’Brien criticized the lack of action on the problem forced marriages. “Multicultural sensitivity is no excuse for moral blindness,” he said.

Fast-forward to 2013. In an interview with the Sunday Times on October 6, Jasvinder Sanghera, an activist who has been instrumental in the decades-long campaign to criminalize forced marriage in Britain, sums it up this way: The issue has become “wrapped up in this moral blindness of cultural sensitivity.”

 

 

Deaf, Mute Girl Kept in Cellar as Sex Slave for a Decade

Sex slave kept in a cellar for a decade

A deaf and mute girl was kept in a cellar and repeatedly raped for a decade, a court has heard.

A deaf and mute girl was kept in a cellar and repeatedly raped for a decade, a court has heard.

The child from Pakistan – now believed to be 19 – was trafficked to Britain so her captors could claim £30,000 in benefits.

She was repeatedly raped, beaten and forced to work for Ilyas Ashar and his family at their home in Eccles, Salford.

They taught the girl how to communicate in sign language and write to claim her benefits.

The passport used when the girl entered the country in 2000 claimed she was 20 and it was a matter of ‘mystery and concern’ how immigration officials at Heathrow Airport did not spot the lie.

She was made to cook, clean, do the washing and ironing for the Ashars and clean the homes of their family and friends.

While Ashar repeatedly raped her, the girl was made to spend her days in the cellar packing football shirts, clothes and mobile phone covers.

She had no family or friends here and never went to school.

Despite her disabilities, the girl was intelligent and a ‘remarkably resilient young woman’, the court heard.

Undated handout photos issued by Greater Manchester Police of a staircase in the home of Ilyas Ashar and his wife Tallat Ashar in Cromwell Road, Eccles in Salford. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday October 16, 2013. A pensioner who trafficked a deaf and mute orphan into the UK, using her to milk the benefits system, was today found guilty of repeatedly raping the girl. Ilyas Ashar, 84, sexually abused his vulnerable victim repeatedly, Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard. His wife, Tallat Ashar, 68, was found guilty of two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation and four counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit. See PA story COURTS Trafficking. Photo credit should read: Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

A pensioner who trafficked a deaf and mute orphan into the UK, using her to milk the benefits system, was today found guilty of repeatedly raping the girl. Ilyas Ashar, 84, sexually abused his vulnerable victim repeatedly, 

Two female jurors at Minshull Street crown court in Manchester wept as Ilyas Ashar, 84, was convicted of 13 counts of rape.

He and wife Tallat, 68, were convicted at an earlier trial of trafficking, exploitation and benefit fraud.

His daughter, Faaiza, 46, was also convicted of benefit fraud.

Judge Peter Lakin revoked Ilyas Ashar’s bail after hearing how his electronic tag ‘came off’.

He said: ‘In my judgment cases such as this, with defendants facing substantial custodial sentences, there is always the significant temptation of defendants not attending here when required.’

Sentencing takes place next week.

 

 

Starved to Death, Waiting for Help That Never Came

The images should haunt those who failed him until their dying day. One shows Hamzah Khan looking imploringly into the camera for help that never came; the other shows the unimaginable squalor of the house where his body lay mummified after his mother, Amanda Hutton, starved him to death.

Amanda Hutton

Judge says Hutton failed basic responsibilities as a mother, after four-year-old son’s body left in cot for nearly two years

Gordon Rayner

By , Chief Reporter

A jury convicted Hutton, an alcoholic mother of eight, of manslaughter after hearing that she cared only where her next drink was coming from, and not a jot for the welfare of her son.

The verdict answered the question posed at the start of her trial, when a prosecutor asked how it was possible for a child to starve to death in 21st century Britain. Yet a far bigger question remains: why did a procession of doctors, police officers, teachers and social workers fail to save Hamzah, who was so malnourished that he ate the contents of his nappies? And how could a four-year-old boy, whose mother was seen regularly by the authorities, die in a busy suburb of Bradford without anyone noticing for almost two years?

One child protection charity said today that it was as if Hamzah had been “invisible” to all those who visited the home.

Hutton admitted neglecting five of her other children, aged between five and 13, who were living in the terrible conditions.

Jodie Dunsmore felt Hutton was “hiding something” when she refused to let her in, but would not take no for an answer, leading to the discovery of Hamzah’s corpse in September 2011. Her curiosity, concern and tenacity appeared to have been singularly lacking in other professionals who missed at least nine opportunities to intervene while Hamzah was alive. His story was so heartbreaking that Hutton’s trial at Bradford Crown Court had to be restarted with a new jury after one of the original panel broke down as the evidence was read, and could not continue.

It is, tragically, only the latest in a long line of child abuse and neglect cases, from Baby P to Daniel Pelka, in which the authorities have sat on their hands until a child died.

Hutton, 43, the daughter of a nurse, came from a middle class background and was “well-spoken”, something which appeared to have thrown some of those who came into contact with her.

She was working as a care assistant for the elderly when she met Aftab Khan, a taxi driver, and had her first child in 1989, aged 18. The couple had seven more, including Hamzah, who was born on June 17, 2005.

By then Hutton was well known to police, who had been called to her home repeatedly for years following beatings by Khan. They answered 999 calls from Hutton eight times between 2004 and 2008. Hamzah was born into a family already in chaos, but following the death of Hutton’s mother on Christmas Eve 2005 she turned to drink, and repeatedly asked the police, doctors and social workers for help.

In the year after Hamzah’s birth, she asked police for help in getting away from her abusive husband, asked her GP for help with depression and asked the local social services child protection unit for advice.

Hamzah, meanwhile, was slowly starving. Having been seen at home by a midwife six days after his birth, and by a health visitor two weeks later, he was never again seen by a health professional. Health visitors who went to the home more than six times following missed immunisations eventually gave up after Hutton slammed the door in their face.

Hamzah was not registered with a GP until he was 15 months old, but he was never taken there, and Hutton’s GP deleted the child from her patient list rather than inquiring after his welfare. In April 2009 Hutton failed to pick up her children from school and two teaching assistants brought them home. They described Hutton as “heavily in drink” and “incoherent” and contacted police, but officers reported that the children were “healthy”.

Paul Greaney QC, prosecuting, said the details of what happened next were complex, but social services, education authorities and the police “were all involved to a greater or lesser extent”.

Other professionals who visited noted no concerns about the children, despite their untreated head lice, fungal infections and signs of “frostbite like” damage to their toes.

Even when Khan, who was convicted of assaulting his wife after an incident in December 2008, told police that Hamzah was malnourished, officers could find nothing amiss. Khan’s relationship with Hutton ended the same month, when a judge granted an injunction preventing him from seeing her, leaving Hutton with little contact with the outside world.

Hamzah died on Dec 15 2009, while his mother was at a supermarket. Later that night she telephoned a Pizza Hut and an Indian takeaway to order food for herself. She later told her children to tell teachers that Hamzah had gone to live with his uncle in Portsmouth.

By June 2010 the boy would have been five, the statutory age for starting school.

A health visitor contacted the school nurse, who reported that he had never attended, and the matter went no further.

On Sept 4 2011, almost two years after Hamzah’s death, PCSO Dunsmore was investigating a complaint from a neighbour of Hutton, who said nappies had been thrown over the fence. Mrs Dunsmore noticed a “quite vile” smell and flies after looking through Hutton’s letterbox. She said: “Call it a mother’s intuition, gut instinct, something wasn’t right. When I saw all the flies and the smell I was thinking, has someone died in there? Why are they not answering?

“I thought, well of course there is no one dead in there because people don’t live in a house where there is a dead person. I obviously couldn’t leave that because I joined the job to look after people and people’s welfare.”

Hutton later rang her, but was “very evasive”. “Alarm bells definitely started to ring,” said Mrs Dunsmore. After a further visit, when she was again refused entry, she immediately contacted social services.

When police finally went in they found rubbish piled knee high, cat faeces in the bath and Hutton’s vomit rotting on the floor.

In her bedroom were the remains of Hamzah, in a travel cot, wearing a babygrow for a six to nine-month-old.

Hutton showed no emotion as she was convicted of manslaughter. She had previously admitted cruelty to her five youngest children aged five to 13, who lived in the house with their brother’s corpse. She admitted preventing the lawful burial of Hamzah together with Tariq, her 24-year-old eldest son.

Shaun Kelly, of Action for Children, said: “Hamzah’s is yet another tragic story of a child who was invisible to society. It seems that people are so afraid of doing the wrong thing that they don’t do anything at all.”

Bradford’s safeguarding children board has conducted a serious case review but its findings will not be published until later this year.