*Please note: She was fearful of a ‘forced marriage’ not an arranged marriage as that would involve consent willingly*
A schoolgirl who feared being forced into an arranged marriage was assaulted by her father and brother for having a secret mobile and a Facebook account.
The 15-year-old was whipped with an electrical cable, hit with a walking stick, slapped and spat at, over several weeks.
Leicester Crown Court was told the dad and brother were concerned about her using the phone to contact another female relative – who had deserted an arranged marriage and moved away.
They suspected the teenager may also be using the phone – kept hidden in a school locker – to associate with boys.
The victim’s father and brother, who live in Leicester, each admitted two counts of common assault, during the end of last year.
Their identities have not been published because of a court order made to protect the victim.
Demands to see Facebook
Nadia Silver, prosecuting, said that during one confrontation the brother, who is in his early 20s, demanded to see her Facebook account.
When she refused, her brother took hold of an electrical lead and bent it over so that it was double thickness.
Miss Silver said: “He hit her with it a number of times on various parts of her body, including the top of her foot.
“A scar from that was still visible a month later when a police officer took a photograph.”
The prosecutor said the girl’s father, in his 40s, hit her with a wooden walking stick on her left arm, knee and calf when she came home late from a school event.
‘You’re not my sister any more’
The next day her brother went to his sister’s school and attempted to get the mobile from her locker, but staff denied him access.
When later confronted by her family at home, her brother demanded to know if she had a phone and when she confessed to having one he spat in her face saying: “You’re not my sister anymore.”
Miss Silver said: “The father, who was present in the front room with the other family members, also spat in her face.”
The next day, the brother was again refused permission to access his sister’s locker at the school, resulting in the head of safeguarding speaking to the girl, who winced in pain when given “a reassuring touch” on her shoulder.
She revealed that she had been physically hurt at home.
Fears over forced marriage
Miss Silver said: “She expressed a fear that her family would send her to Bangladesh to be married against her will.”
The final confrontation was when her brother slapped her face for refusing to hand over her phone.
During a subsequent family meeting at the school, the brother “expressed the family’s concern the girl was making inappropriate contact with boys using her phone,” said the prosecutor.