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23/10/2013 10:19 BST | Updated 23/10/2013 10:20 BST

Ilyas Ashar, Pensioner Who Repeatedly Raped Deaf And Mute Girl, Sentenced To Just 13 Years In Jail

Ilyas Ashar was found guilty this week of raping a Pakistani orphan, who is deaf and mute. He kept the victim as his virtual slave for 10 years.
Greater Manchester Police/PA Wire
Ilyas Ashar was found guilty this week of raping a Pakistani orphan, who is deaf and mute. He kept the victim as his virtual slave for 10 years.

The vile pensioner who repeatedly raped a helpless deaf and mute girl he trafficked into the UK to work as his servant has been jailed for just 13 years.

In a case that may remind Americans of the recently concluded Ariel Castro trial, a young girl was forced to sleep in a damp cellar for 13 years – the same amount of time her attacker will spend in jail.

The girl - now thought to be 19 or 20 - had no contact with the outside world from the age of 10.

Ilyas Ashar, 84, was condemned for subjecting his tragic victim to a life of "misery and degradation," in court today.

ilyas ashar

The entrance to the cellar where Ilyas Ashar kept a young deaf and mute orphan as a slave for 10 years.

He abused the youngster from the moment he brought her into the UK from Pakistan aged around 10 in June 2000.

The girl, who is profoundly deaf and cannot speak, was beaten and forced to sleep and work in the cellar of Ashar's five-bed family home in Cromwell Road, Eccles in Salford.

She was described by officials as being "one of the most vulnerable," cases they have ever encountered.

The case was clearly an emotional one for those involved, with Greater Manchester Police official May Doyle describing Ashar as "pure evil" in contrast with the "remarkably courageous" victim, the BBC notes.

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

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

For almost a decade the victim had to work for the Ashars, who are understood to have a number of business interests and rental properties.

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Their victim, who had no family or friends in the UK and had never been to school in Pakistan or Britain.

The case echoes the depraved actions of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian engineer who kept his daughter as a sex slave in a secret cellar underneath the family home for 24 years – who was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Ashar would routinely rape the girl in the cellar and other houses the family owned - though she would try to fight him off.

Though her exact age is not known, the girl was sexually abused from pre-puberty, Minshull Street Crown Court heard, by Ilyas Ashar.

Ashar was convicted of 13 specimen counts of rape by a jury last week, though the court heard the rapes happened "many, many times more".

Two female jurors wept as the guilty verdicts were delivered, and the judge said he was excusing the jurors of further jury service for a decade after hearing traumatic evidence.

He had also 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, will be sentenced for two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation and four counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit.

Their 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.