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  1. ITV Report

Jail for couple who kept girl as cellar slave

Ilyas Ashar Photo: PA Pictures

A pensioner who repeatedly raped a girl who is deaf and cannot speak was jailed for 13 years today and told he subjected his victim to a life of "misery and degradation".

Ilyas Ashar, 84, sexually abused the youngster from the moment he trafficked her into the UK from Pakistan aged around 10 in June 2000.

The girl was beaten and forced to sleep and work in the cellar of Ashar's five-bed family home in Cromwell Road, Eccles in Salford.

While Ashar used his victim to satisfy his sexual desires the girl was also used to steal more than £30,000 in benefits.

For almost a decade the victim had to work for the Ashars, who are understood to have a number of business interests and rental properties.

The house where the girl was kept Credit: PA Pictures

Their victim, who had no family or friends in the UK and had never been to school in Pakistan or Britain, was taught by the Ashars to sign her name to claim benefits.

Though her exact age is not known, the girl was sexually abused from pre-puberty, Minshull Street Crown Court heard, by Ilyas Ashar.

He would routinely rape the girl in the cellar and other houses the family owned - though she would try to fight him off.

Ashar was convicted of 13 specimen counts of rape by a jury last week, though the court heard the rapes happened "many, many times more".

He had also 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, will be sentenced for two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation and four counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit.

Their 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.

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