Man jailed for abusing wife for 16 years

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A MAN who physically and sexually abused his wife over a 16-year period has been sentenced to 14 years in prison at Woolwich Crown Court.

Gurdawar Singh Chima, 45, of Sidcup had previously been found guilty at Woolwich CC on 4 April to specimen charges of rape and actual bodily harm. He was sentenced yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Kam Sodhi, from Bexley Heath Public Protection Unit who investigated the case said it was one of the most “disturbing” cases they had investigated.

The court was told Chima had married his wife in 1991 and traveled to India for the ceremony. He then returned to England and waited until his wife had the necessary visa to join him, which was granted in 1992.

She had no family or friends in Britain and didn’t speak any English. From her arrival Chima subjected her to a degrading lifestyle characterised by rape, physical assaults, intimidation and little contact with the outside world.

After work Chima would come home as late as midnight and forced her to cook for him. Throughout her ordeal she was fed only a small amount of food, which left her malnourished and weak. When she was fed she was made to sit on the floor in the corner of the kitchen.

The repeated sexual attacks were often preceded by physical beatings as she tried to resist Chima’s will.

In 1996 she was able to escape the house and sought help form a refuge, but persuaded by Chima that things would change she returned in 1997. But the abuse continued and her health again deteriorated.

She left Chima permanently in 2005, but even with the couple separated he continued to attack her not only in private but also in front her friends.

In September 2007 the attacks became too much after she was threatened by an associate of Chima’s as she tried to secure a divorce from him. She went to the police who arrested Chima and he was subsequently charged.

Detective Sergeant Kam Sodhi, from Bexley Heath Public Protection Unit who investigated the case, said: “The actions of Chima defy believe belief. He subjected a vulnerable and isolated woman to a savage and sadistic ordeal, which is one of the most disturbing cases I have investigated.

“She has been left with scars and physical injuries that persist to this day as a reminder of his actions. Chima also made her revisit the abuse by pleading not guilty and making her give evidence. There can be no excuse for his actions – no human being deserves to be subjected to such abuse, but she has shown amazing strength to confront him in court.

“I hope that now Chima is behind bars his victim can start to rebuild her life away from the fear and violence that have characterised the last 16 years of her life.”

 

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