A sadistic pair are facing jail after holding a deaf and mute girl captive in their Eccles cellar where she was subjected to a decade of harrowing rapes.
The girl, thought to just 10 when trafficked into the country from Pakistan by Ilyas Ashar and his wife, worked as a slave in the pair’s home.
Unable to describe her ordeal, the girl was forced to sleep on the concrete cellar floor and had no education or help for her disability.
Forced to do menial work around their £300,000 home, she was often viciously abused if Ashar didn’t approve of her cooking, cleaning and other house work.
Ashar, of Cromwell St, Eccles, was found guilty yesterday of 13 counts of rape following a retrial at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court.
The 84-year-old had already been found guilty of two counts of trafficking people for exploitation and three offences under the Social Security Act.
His 67-year-old wife, Tallat, of the same address, was found guilty at an earlier trial of two counts of trafficking people for exploitation and seven offences under the Social Security Act.
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: “We believe this girl was brought into the country illegally in 2000 and fell into the clutches of these evil men when she was just 10 years old.
“Over the next 12 years they deliberately concealed her from the authorities. They deprived her of her freedom, her education, health care and never sought any support for her disability. To have done so would have revealed their crime. On top of that, they treated her cruelly as a household slave and sexually abused her.
“Their behaviour was disgusting beyond belief and I am delighted they have finally been convicted for these despicable crimes.”
DISTURBING: The stairs that led to the cellar where the girl was forced to sleep on a concrete floor
Mr Stewart praised trading standards officers, who originally discovered the girl in the cellar and tried to speak to her when investigating the Ashars in relation to money laundering.
The Ashars claimed that they were the only ones who could communicate with her, yet the officers became suspicious and alerted the police.
Mr Stewart said: “I am very proud of our officers and the police. Had they not insisted on speaking to her on that day and realised how vulnerable she was, she might never have been rescued.”
Ron Pennington, Head of Trading Standards at Salford City Council, said: “Officers did a lot of work to prepare for the raid on this address but nothing could have prepared them for what they found.
“This young woman was clearly in distress and needed help. I am very proud of the officers involved for what they did to help her and it’s great to hear how much her life has improved as a result of their actions.”
The Ashar’s daughter Faazia, of Milton Rd, Eccles, was found guilty at an earlier trial of three offences under the Social Security Act.
All three are due to be sentenced on October 23.
The girl, who is now 20 and is receiving on-going support from social workers, is rebuilding her life and has been praised by GMP and the Crown Prosecution Service for the ‘courage’ she has shown during the trial.
‘NOTHING COULD HAVE PREPARED THEM’: The cellar where officers found the girl
Salford divisional commander Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle, said: “What is remarkable – and the most important aspect of this unusual case – is that the victim has emerged a confident, well-adjusted and determined young woman. It is truly amazing how she has turned her life round and we have nothing but the utmost respect for her.”
Ian Rushton, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: “I am pleased that she is now free from that abuse. Since the first trial she has impressed everyone involved in the case with the remarkable way that she has moved on in her life, and how well she is now doing.
“She has shown real courage and determination in giving evidence at this retrial and at the first trial. I hope that today’s outcome will help her to continue to move on in such a positive way.”