Siblings convicted of honour-based violence case in Hampshire

01/03/2012

Two sisters, Nadiya Akhtar, 25, and Nazira Akhtar, 29, from Basingstoke, were convicted today (1 March) at Winchester Crown Court of the actual bodily harm of their 18-year-old sister, Shamima, in what is one of the few prosecutions of its kind in Hampshire.

Their brother, Kayum Mohammed-Abdul, 24, was also convicted of an assault on Gary Pain.

They were each given a conditional discharge of 12 months. Nazira and Nadiya were ordered to pay costs of £500 each. Kayum was ordered to pay £250 costs.

Sharon Douglass, Crown Advocate and reviewing lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service in Wessex, said: "Shamima Akhtar is a lively young woman, who, like a number of young women of her age, wanted to celebrate her recent 18th birthday with her friends.

"Shamima has been brought up in a Muslim environment and going out with friends was not straightforward.

"The jury at Winchester Crown Court heard how, on 1 April of last year, she was brought back home by her two older sisters, Nadiya and Nazira, and her brother, Kayum, after they saw her kissing a 'white man' - Gary Pain. He was the victim of an assault by Kayum.

"At home, Shamima was called a 'whore', a 'prostitute' and a 'slag' because she kissed Gary Pain. "Her sisters held her and then cut off her beautiful waist-length hair at the neck to punish her.

"Shamima had been living a very controlled life, closely monitored by her siblings. They allowed her to go out that night, but ensured that they brought her into Basingstoke and stayed in town to bring her home.

"They made repeated calls and sent texts to check her whereabouts. Shamima just wanted to have fun with her friends and live a different life to her family, but this was not tolerated and led to the attack.

"This is the first successful prosecution for an honour-based violence crime of this nature in Hampshire.

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in Wessex is comprised of the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Wiltshire. We know that honour-based violence crimes exist in our Area but they are still under-reported.

"We urge anyone who recognises their situation in Shamima's case to report the crime to the police.

"We know how difficult it can be to give evidence against one's family but we want victims and witnesses to believe that the police and the CPS will help them to obtain justice.

"Our teams have been trained to deal with this particular crime and the CPS has honour-based violence experts - like me - who will carefully consider the evidence and the difficult issues raised in these types of cases and bring a prosecution to court when there is sufficient evidence.

"This was a challenging case to prosecute and we would like to thank all members of the prosecution team. In particular we would like to thank all the witnesses in this case, and especially Shamima for her courage in giving evidence.

"There is little doubt that the memories that she will have of that night will always be hurtful and painful, but we hope that this verdict will help her move forward with her life."

Ends