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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

"PURE EVIL": Manchester couple kept 10-year-old Pakistani girl as "Sex Slave"

A British-Pakistani couple from Manchester who kept a deaf-mute girl as a "sex slave" have been convicted of the "harrowing" crime.

The girl - who cannot be named for legal reasons - spent nearly two months describing her shocking ordeal at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester and the details can only now be revealed after reporting restrictions were lifted.

The girl spent a record 49 days giving testimony against Ilyas Ashar, 84, who was found guilty of 13 counts of rape.

The court heard that the girl was brought to the UK when she was just 10 years old on a false passport by Ashar and his wife Tallat, 68, who wanted to use her to apply for benefits.

She was held in a basement in the couple's £300,000 house near Salford and repeatedly raped and beaten whilst carrying out daily household chores for the Ashar family and their friends.

Throughout the 280 hours of harrowing evidence giving, the victim broke down in tears on a number of occasions when her stories were challenged.

During the trial the girl gave her evidence by video link in a private room and was accompanied throughout by two interpreters who had to translate in both sign language and Urdu.

Before she was discovered by authorities in 2009 the girl, now in her early 20's, was forced to sleep on a concrete floor without a bed or toilet and made to work whilst the couple pocketed more than £30,000 in benefits on her behalf.

Two female jurors wept openly as guilty verdicts were delivered on 13 counts of rape against Ilyas Asher whilst the entire panel was excused from jury duty for the next ten years owing the shocking nature of the case they had had to hear.

Prosecutors said that the girl was first brought to the UK in June 2005 on a passport which claimed she was 20 years old.

Authorities have questioned how immigration officials at Heathrow failed to notice the girl's age.She was first brought to the UK in June 2005 when she was around 10 years old.

Ashar was 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.

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.

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.

Chief Superintendant of Greater Manchester Police, May Doyle, praised the victim for being "remarkably courageous" and said she had made excellent progress. 

She added: "She's being supported, living a good life now, she's achieving her potential - she's a bright girl."

Ian Rushton, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the victim was "one of the most vulnerable" they had ever encountered.

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

"She was unable to hear or speak and had no formal sign language through which to communicate, no family or friends to turn to, had never been to school and had no knowledge of this country's culture and society.

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