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A deaf girl was trafficked to UK and kept as sex slave in cellar by elderly couple for almost 10 years

A deaf orphan girl was trafficked into Britain and forced to act as a virtual slave for a couple, a court was told.

Locked in a cellar each night, the ten-year-old was repeatedly raped and forced to carry out chores including cooking, cleaning, sewing and washing.

Ilyas Ashar, 83, and wife Tallat, 66, regularly beat the girl – dragging her by the hair if she was too slow and slapping her if the food was too hot or spicy.

The court was told the girl was repeatedly raped and sexually abused by Ashar and stabbed in the stomach.

Peter Cadwallader, prosecuting, said the girl had been brought from her home in Pakistan in 2000 after being told her parents had died.

Profoundly deaf and unable to speak, she went to live with the Ashars at their Victorian house in Eccles, near Manchester.

‘She was brought to this country and exploited,’ said Mr Cadwallader. ‘She was a victim of threats and violence throughout her life from being a little girl.

‘She was the subject of forced labour in that she was made to work for Ilyas and Tallat Ashar as a domestic servant and do other work for them.

‘She was made to cook, clean and do the washing and ironing. She was also made to clean houses and business premises for friends and relations of Mr and Mrs Ashar.

‘She also washed cars in the drive of the house – in essence she lived in a state of servitude.’

He told Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester: ‘She was physically abused, she was sexually abused, which included being raped by Ilyas Ashar. She was exploited economically, in that benefits were obtained in her name, the money being kept by the Ashars.

‘At night the door at the top of the stairs down to the cellar was locked and bolted so she could not get out during the night.

‘During the day, presumably when she displeased Tallat Ashar, she was pushed into the cellar, pushed down the stairs and the door locked. She would sit there for hours crying and locked in.’

Police called at the house in 2009 and found the girl – now aged around 19 – sleeping in the cellar.

Mr Cadwallader said the girl had remained a captive for almost ten years because she knew no one and had absolutely nowhere to go.

‘For her that’s all she had really known and she was forced to accept it as her way of life,’ he added. ‘She knew nothing else.’

The Ashars, who ran a market stall and sold cars, 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 wounding  and the pair, along with their daughter Faaiza, 24, deny charges of benefit fraud.

The case continues.

Jaya Narain


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