Cardiff Man Sentenced To 16 Years
A man from Cardiff has been jailed after forcing a woman to marry him.
The 34-year-old, who is the first person in the country to be prosecuted under the forced marriage laws introduced last year, was jailed for 16 years having admitted to forcing a 25-year-old woman to marry him last year.
The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, also pleaded guilty to charges of rape, bigamy and voyeurism.
He was sentenced at Merthyr Crown Court to four years for forced marriage, 12 months for bigamy and 12 months for voyeurism to run concurrently with the rape sentence of 16 years.
The court heard that the man became obsessed with the victim, a devout Muslim, and had secretly filmed videos of her in the shower. He threatened to reveal this footage and to kill her family members, including her father, if she told anyone.
Judge Daniel Williams described the defendant as an “arrogant, manipulative and devious man”.
The judge said: “To the bitter end you sought to exert control over her, no doubt in the hope she would not go through with her allegations.”
The offences against the woman began last year when she became engaged. He took her to his home in March 2014 under the pretence of sharing a meal with his wife.
“Your house was empty, you locked the front door and drew the curtains, you ignored her pleas to let her go and threw her mobile phone away and bound and gagged her with scarves belonging to your wife,” the Judge said.
“You tied her hands behind her back, she was bruised by the ties and she couldn’t breathe. She almost passed out and then you raped her.
“She was a virgin, something which you knew and something which you used to ensure her silence. You took her innocence to ensure her silence.”
He later pretended to be her fiancé on Facebook, the court heard.
When she revealed the rape online, he attempted to make her drop the matter.
A few weeks after the incident, he contacted her to seek forgiveness and then raped her.
The judge said he took her to a mosque and told her they were to be married, and proceeded to threaten her with the murders of her family and said he would reveal intimate videos of her if she refused.
After the hearing, Det Supt Lian Penhale from South Wales Police praised the woman’s “courage and strength” to come forward.
Iwan Jenkins, head of CPS Wales Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Unit, said: “Forced marriage wrecks lives and destroys families.
“We hope that today’s sentence sends a strong message that forced marriage will not be tolerated in today’s Britain.”