Guilty: Mother-in-law who treated sons’ wives as ‘slaves’

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Naseebah Bibi to be jailed in May

A BLACKBURN woman who treated her three daughter-in-laws’ as slaves and threatened to kill them if they went to the police has been jailed today.

Naseebah Bibi “exploited” the women who had come into the UK following arranged marriages to her three sons, Preston Crown Court was told

The three women, who were also her nieces, were forced to work as slaves day and night in Bibi’s home in Pringle Street, Blackburn.

The 63-year-old was today convicted of falsely imprisoning Nagina Akhtar between 1993 and 2006, Tazeem Akhtar between 2001 and 2003 and Nisbah Akhtar between 2005 and 2007.

A jury of eight women and four men took less than three hours to reach guilty verdicts against the mother of six.

Preston Crown Court was told the three women arrived in England with high hopes of married life.

Instead they were shunned by their husbands and abused and beaten by their domineering mother-in-law.

Bibi’s first daughter in law, Nagina, was kept against her will for 13 years and forced to work on an industrial sewing machine for up to 15 hours a day, the court was told.

The second daughter in law, Tazeem, was only allowed to leave the house with permission but was sent back to Pakistan after 18 months, whilst the third daughter in law, Nisbah, was forced to clean windows in the snow, whilst wearing no jacket.

She was also made to clean rugs with brushes despite there being a vacuum and hand wash clothes in cold water, despite there being a washing machine.

The jury was told Bibi threatened to kill her if she disobeyed or talked to the police.

Speaking after the verdict Sgt John Rigby from Lancashire Constabulary’s Community Cohesion Unit praised the victims for speaking out.

“Bibi completely dominated all three women and treated them like slaves,” he said. “They have shown immense courage in coming forward and although this is a very rare case, I would urge anyone that is suffering in similar circumstances to come forward and report such matters to the police.

“Both the victims and witnesses suffered threats of violence and intimidation and I would like to praise the Asian women who came forward and spoke to the police and the agencies who assisted in providing a place of safety. The Asian community should be proud of these women for taking a stand, in some cases against their family’s wishes.

“We understand the complex cultural issues around victims coming forward but as this case demonstrates we are committed to investigating any reports of this nature thoroughly and will do everything within our powers to bring offenders before the courts.”

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