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Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#PureEvil: Manchester Couple jailed for keeping 10-year-old Pakistani girl as "Sex Slave"

An "Evil" couple who kept a 10-year-old deaf, Pakistani girl as a "slave" for nearly a decade have been jailed.

Ilyas Ashar, 84, and his 68-year-old wife Tallat trafficked the girl to the UK and kept her in a cramped cellar at their home in Eccles, Manchester.

Ilyas was jailed for 13 years after being convicted of repeatedly raping the girl who was forced to work as a maid whilst members of the Ashar family claimed child benefit in her name. 

Tallat was jailed for five years for benefit fraud and trafficking.

The girl, now in her 20s, was found in the "sparse, cold and damp" cellar in 2009 by trading standards staff investigating allegations of illegal activity.

The prosecution said where the girl slept was "controlled by the Ashars"

Judge Peter Lakin, sentencing, said the couple had not shown any remorse.

He said: "You Ilyas Ashar and you Tallat Ashar did not treat this girl as a human being. To you she was merely an object to be used, abused and cast aside at will.

"You took full advantage of her extreme vulnerability. You exploited her physically, mentally and economically.

"There was throughout a distasteful undercurrent of violence and intimidation. All that she had in her life was the love of her family and her own human dignity - you two took that away from her, you consigned her to a life of misery and degradation."

He added: "You are deeply unpleasant, highly manipulative and dishonest people."

The victim was never paid for the work she did for the Ashar family and also never received a penny of the £36,045 in benefits they claimed for her.

The girl - who cannot be named for legal reasons - spent nearly two months describing her shocking ordeal at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.

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 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, 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.

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.

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.

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."

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