UK
17/10/2013 04:57 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Ilyas Ashar Found Guilty Of Keeping Trafficked Deaf And Mute Girl As Sex Slave

PA

Ilyas Ashar, a Manchester pensioner, has been found guilty of raping a deaf and mute girl over a decade, after trafficking her into the UK to milk the benefits system.

Two female jurors wept as guilty verdicts for the 84-year-old were delivered on 13 counts of rape at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

The girl, from Pakistan who is profoundly deaf and cannot speak, was beaten and slapped and forced to work for Ashar and his family as a domestic servant.

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While Ashar used his victim to satisfy his sexual desires the girl was also used to steal more than £30,000 in benefits on her behalf.

ilyas ashar

The couple kept the girl in a filthy cellar

The youngster was even taught enough sign language by the family so she could agree to the benefit money being handed over to the Ashars.

Ian Rushton, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West, said: "The young victim was one of the most vulnerable that we have ever come across.

"When she was first brought to the UK she was just a child.

"She was used as forced labour by the Ashars - ill-treated and exploited financially and repeatedly raped by Ilyas Ashar.

"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.

ilyas tallat ashar

The couple used the girl to milk the benefits system

"She has shown real courage and determination in giving evidence at this re-trial and at the first trial.

The girl was first brought into the UK in June 2000 when aged around 10, though her exact age is not known.

But the passport used claimed the girl was 20 and it was a matter of "mystery and concern" how immigration officials at Heathrow did not spot the difference in age.

For almost a decade the girl, now aged 19 or 20, had to work and sleep in the cellar at the family's substantial family's home in Cromwell Road, Eccles in Salford.

Ashar was today convicted of 13 counts of rape. He had been convicted at an earlier trial of two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation, two counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit and one of permitting furnishing of false information to obtain a benefit.

His wife, Tallat Ashar, 68, was found guilty of two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation and four counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit.

ilyas ashar

The girl was abused over a decade

His daughter, Faaiza Ashar, 46, was found guilty at an earlier trial of two counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit and one count of permitting furnishing of false information to obtain a benefit.

All three were convicted at the earlier trial where the jury were unable to reach verdicts on the allegations of rape so Ashar was re-tried.

Reporting on the second trial was banned until today's verdicts were in and the jury were not told about the guilty verdicts at the earlier trial where the court heard the girl was made to cook, clean, do the washing and ironing for the Ashars and clean the houses and cars of their family and friends.

She also spent her days in the cellar packing football shirts, clothes and mobile phone covers.

The girl had no family or friends in the UK and had never been to school in Pakistan or Britain.

She could not read or write and the only people she knew in Britain were the Ashars, who told her both her parents were dead.

She was, however, taught to write her signature - so her name could be used to claim benefits.

Despite her disabilities the girl has an average, or higher, intelligence level and is a "remarkably resilient young woman", the court heard.