A young woman who was enslaved by a British Pakistani couple in their home in Salford has been awarded £100,000 in compensation.
Pensioner Ilyas Ashar, 84, and his 68-year-old wife Tallat were jailed last year after the couple were found guilty of subjecting the woman – now in her 20’s – to repeated beatings and sexual abuse.
She was found in 2009 living in squalid conditions in a cellar inside Ashar’s semi-detached property in the Manchester suburb of Eccles.
The couple were also ordered to pay more than £320,000 in costs incurred during their trial as well as the nearly £40,000 in benefits they claimed in the name of the unnamed victim who had been smuggled into Britain from Pakistan when she was just ten years old.
During the couple’s trial at Manchester Crown Court in 2013, the jury heard harrowing details about what the victim had been subjected to inside the Ashar’s five-bedroom family home.
She had been brought to the UK by the Ashar’s claiming they wanted to help her but in reality they wanted to use her as a domestic servant.
The girl had never been to school in Pakistan or the UK and was forced to use a form of sign language to give evidence in court.
She was granted a visa on the condition that she did not claim any benefits. However, the Ashar’s are said to have applied for child benefit as soon as she was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in 2005.
She was never paid for the work she did for the Ashar family but also never received a penny of the £36,045 in benefits they claimed for her.
She had been raped repeatedly by Ilyas who then taught her to sign her name so that he could claim benefits in her name.
Sentencing the couple the judge described the couple as “deeply unpleasant, highly manipulative and dishonest”.
The victim was only discovered after official’s from the Trading Standards Agency investigating a money laundering scheme raided the Ashar’s home in June 2009.
Officers said they were shocked to discover the girl asleep in the cold and dark cellar of the house.
One officer likened her behaviour to that of an ‘animal’.
She was taken from the house and has made a fully recovery with the help of social services.