She was bruised by the ties and she couldn’t breathe

First ever  UK prosecution for forced marriage:

A 34-year-old Cardiff man has become the first person in the UK to be prosecuted under forced marriage laws introduced a year ago.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was jailed for 16 years after admitting making a 25-year-old woman marry him under duress last year.

He also pleaded guilty to charges of rape, bigamy and voyeurism at Merthyr Crown Court.

The “under duress” sounds mild. The details are not mild.

The judge said the offences began when the woman became engaged last year and in March 2014 he took her to his house under the pretence of having a meal with his wife.

“Your house was empty, you locked the front door and drew the curtains, you ignored her pleas to let her go and threw her mobile phone away and bound and gagged her with scarves belonging to your wife,” he said.

“You tied her hands behind her back, she was bruised by the ties and she couldn’t breathe. She almost passed out and then you raped her.

“She was a virgin, something which you knew and something which you used to ensure her silence. You took her innocence to ensure her silence.”

Not the best wording, since having sex shouldn’t equate with guilt, but the point is that’s hardly the pleasantest way to stop being a virgin. The point is also that sex in fact is seen as guilt for a woman by many people, and that a raped virgin is seen as damaged goods, tainted, used up. In that sense the perp took her cleanness, her purity, her eligibility for marriage, and that he did it on purpose. Ugly.

This isn’t the standard kind of forced marriage though. In a way it seems like a bad idea to make this kind the first prosecution, because it’s not the paradigm.



  1. luzclara says

    I wonder what the “legal reasons” are to not name him.

    It’s something to nail the guy, but yes not exactly the idea I had of forcible marriage.

  2. says

    In fact it’s rape first of all, and kidnapping, and then extortion and menacing and crimes like that. Forced marriage is the least of it, from the description.

  3. RossR says

    luzclara, according to the Telegraph, the reason he wasn’t named is that naming him would have identified her.

  4. johnthedrunkard says

    Waiting for a ‘paradigm case’ is hypocritical at best. This asshole might not be the precedent that a Hollywood script conference would pick, but sheesh doesn’t this chance to put the new law to work justify itself?

    The desire for ‘correct’ well-organized ‘cases’ can lead to messes like UVA, or the blowback on the recent ‘Hunting Ground’ documentary. The urge to massage ACTUAL cases into the ‘right’ form is discrediting and ends up as a kind of compliance in the crime.

    Its as if we held back about Dredd Scott because he wasn’t photogenic enough.

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