Trafficked into slavery in a cellar

A millionaire Salford couple kept a girl in their cellar as a slave for nine years. The BBC reports.

A deaf girl from Pakistan kept as a slave for nine years by a millionaire couple from Salford is to receive £100,000 in compensation.

Ilyas and Tallat Ashar were jailed last October after the girl was found in their cellar in 2009.

The victim was repeatedly raped and forced to work as a servant at the family’s properties as a child.

Manchester Crown Court ruled the couple must also repay £42,000 of benefits falsely claimed in her name.

Oh she was raped, too. That’s nice – that’s a nice touch.

She was ten when she was trafficked into the UK. Ten.

The victim had to learn a form of sign language to give evidence at the trial last year, when her progress was compared to “a butterfly coming out of a chrysalis”.

She is now living independently and has improved her sign language skills, said police.

And she has some back wages coming.

The court had to calculate the value of the work carried out by the girl when she was being exploited and also the sum of benefits claimed fraudulently in her name.

The judge based it on the minimum wage, assuming she worked for 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

Lawyers for the couple argued a deduction should be made for board and lodging accrued by the girl when she was with them.


Also, minimum wage, don’t forget. Around here cleaners get about $15 an hour, and they don’t throw in being raped or being held prisoner in a cellar.

Ch Supt Mary Doyle, from Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said: “Today’s result is a landmark case for both GMP and for victims of trafficking everywhere.

“The crimes of the Ashars are well-documented and, quite rightly, people continue to share a sense of disbelief at the prolonged cruelty they inflicted on their young victim.”

She added: “The money will in no way make up for what she went through over a number of years, but it will help her move on with her life and continue her inspiring recovery from these awful events.”

£100,000 seems low, actually. It’s minimal wages, but she should be getting compensation. Half a million would be more like it – and if they’re really millionaires, more than that. They held her in a fucking basement for nine years, and raped her.



  1. Trebuchet says

    £100,000 seems low, actually.

    Low? Are you kidding? It’s nothing. Should be 150 million. If not more. The couple ought to be in prison for life and all their assets transferred to her.

  2. PatrickG says

    The Ashars must also pay £321,000 towards the cost of their trials.

    I know a criminal justice system can be expensive to run, but … what?

    Ilyas and Tallat Ashar were jailed last October after the girl was found in their cellar in 2009.

    It took four year to try this case? Maybe if justice had been a bit more expeditious the court could have seen fit to compensate slavery at more than minimum wage.

  3. mickll says

    She should be given all their assets and they should be shipped off to the Taliban populated border region of Pakistan sans passport, they’d be in like-minded company!

  4. opposablethumbs says

    Apart from the fact that this amount of money is grossly inadequate in relation to the crimes committed against the young woman, wasn’t it in evidence that she was actually forced to work at all hours, whenever they said? That’s more like an 18-hour working day than 12.
    £100k is insultingly low. She should have every damn thing they own.

  5. Holms says

    100K seems more like it should be a starting point rather than the final sum. Yes, one of the elements in the payout should be lost wages, though I would suggest that being held captive is a 24/7 ‘occupation, rather than 12/7. So, even that basic point of unpaid work I think needs to be doubled. Also, should the benefits claimed in the name of their captive be paid back to the government, or passed on to the intended recipient?

    Next… what about damages? Punitive fines? Fucking nothing?!

    I suspect that part of the reason why it took so long is that, as the defendants have the benefit of being millionaires, they most likely threw appeals and countersuits all over the place.

  6. Rowan vet-tech says

    @2- Don’t forget they had to teach her to talk so that she could testify. That isn’t going to happen rapidly.

  7. PatrickG says


    Except no:

    After just three months of teaching, the woman’s communication skills had improved sufficiently for her to be interviewed by police.

    Officers spoke to her seven times, during carefully planned sessions involving a sign language interpreter.

    Now, testifying is a different issue, acknowledged. But given that she was able to give evidence and describe her horrific experience to police almost immediately, the four year and 321k pound expenditures seem incredibly inefficient.

  8. quentinlong says

    Okay… I get that a lawyer’s job is to be an advocate for their client. They’re supposed to game the system for the benefit of their client, within the limits of professional ethics (and, one hopes, of basic morality). But… even so…
    deduction for board and lodging“?
    Damn. That is some hardcore chutzpah, right up there with the proverbial “I admit I murdered both my parents, but I plead the Court for mercy on the grounds that I am an orphan”.

  9. sc_770d159609e0f8deaa72849e3731a29d says

    “deduction for board and lodging“?

    It used to be (still is?) standard practice in the U.K. to make that deduction from compensation paid to prisoners released after it turned out they weren’t guilty of the crimes they’d been gaoled for committing.

  10. latsot says

    I know it’s the least bad part of all this, but I can’t get the board and lodging thing out of my mind. What the couple did to this person is about as evil as it gets. What their lawyers did was…. something else. Impersonal, but no less the evil for that. I’m imagining them high fiving each other when they came up with the plan to save their millionaire clients a handfull of (to them) change. I can’t help but wonder if they argued that since the house was (presumably) very nice, the rent should be stupendously high.

    @9: I don’t know whether that’s true or not but I do know that in Britain in the past, prisoners had to pay for their board and lodging while they were in prison. If they couldn’t pay, they were instead sent to debtor’s prison, from which release was impossible unless the debt was repaid. Rich prisoners could get all kinds of perks. If I remember correctly, these included sumptuous furnishings, servants, food and wine of their choice, etc. It’s hard to imagine a system more susceptible to corruption.

    I’ve heard it said that in some US states prisoners have to pay to be there, is that true?

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