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A man and members of his family jailed for controlling behaviour and servitude offences

|News, Domestic abuse

A husband and four of his family members have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment after subjecting his wife to forced servitude, honour-based violence and coercive behaviour between October 2017 and April 2019 at their shared family home.

After entering an arranged marriage in Pakistan, Mohammed-Shuaib Arshid, 28, moved to the UK with his new wife in a house shared with his father, Arshid Sadiq, 54, his mother, Nabila Shaheen, 56, his brother, Aqeel Arshid, 32, and his sister Zaib Arshid, 27.

Whilst living in the family home, the wife of Mohammed-Shuaib Arshid was regularly subject to controlling and coercive behaviour. This included not being allowed to use her mobile phone without permission, leave the house on her own or have access to her personal identity documents. She was further denied the opportunity to attend college. The family denied her access to any monies, and she was reduced to begging her husband for money for basic toiletries.

The victim was also held in servitude and forced to cook and clean throughout the day before being allowed to go to bed.

During this period, the victim was regularly mentally and physically abused by all five members of the family, causing long-term physical and psychological harm. Abuse included threats to kill the victim and forcing the victim to drink engine oil.

Whilst on bail for these offenses, Mohammed Shuaib Arshid committed a separate offence of false imprisonment targeted towards another member of the public and was sentenced to eight years in prison. The defendants all entered Not Guilty pleas but were convicted unanimously by the jury earlier this year.

Members of the family were sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court today (11 July 2023), each for controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship and holding a person in slavery or servitude. All five family members were also made subject to an indefinite restraining order, preventing any further contact with the victim. They were all also deprived of their mobile phones.

Mohammed-Shuaib Arshid was sentenced to three years imprisonment, to run consecutively to the 8 year custodial sentence imposed for falsely imprisoning a separate victim. Arshid Sadiq was sentenced to seven years three months imprisonment. Nabila Shaheen was sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment. Aqeel Arshid was sentenced to 21 months suspended 18 months. Zaib Arshid was sentenced to 21 months suspended 18 months. 

Paul Jenkins, a Senior District Crown Prosecutor for the CPS said: “The victim believed that they were moving into a safe family home with a loving husband, but the subsequent actions of Mohammed Shuaib Arshid, Arshid Sadiq, Nabila Shaheen, Aqeel Arshid and Zaib Arshid proved that this was not the case.

The victim was subject to regular abuse whilst under their care, resulting in serious physical and psychological harm. This case demonstrates the willingness of the CPS to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice and our commitment to protect those who have been subject to controlling or coercive situations, securing protective orders wherever possible.”

A CPS spokesperson said ““Being the victim of violence or sexual assault is undoubtedly a harrowing experience – but when this abuse is ‘honour-based’, the challenges can often feel impossible to overcome.

“If someone is seen to have dishonoured or brought shame on a family or community, they can be ‘punished’ through threatening behaviour, rape, kidnap, false imprisonment, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and even murder – also known as honour killings.

“Honour-based abuse cases are some of the most complex the Crown Prosecution Service deals with. We know much of this abuse takes place in familial settings and tight-knit communities, often making it incredibly difficult for victims to come forward to report.

“We want to support victims of this unacceptable violence; both honour-based abuse and forced marriage are illegal, and where our legal test is met, we will not hesitate to prosecute.

“We can protect potential victims through anonymity, forced marriage protection orders and extra-territorial jurisdiction over offences committed abroad.

“Whether you are a victim, or suspect you know someone who is, we would encourage you to come forward and report it.

“Victims of this devastating crime deserve justice and you could help other potential victims.”

Notes to editors

• Mohammed-Shuaib Arshid [DOB: 14.09.1994] of Hillingdon
• Arshid Sadiq [DOB: 02.12.1968] of Hillingdon
• Nabila Shaheen [DOB: 11.09.1966] of Hillingdon
• Aqeel Arshid, [DOB: 18.09.1990] of Hillingdon
• Zaib Arshid [DOB: 07.02.1996] of Hillingdon
• Paul Jenkins is a Senior District Crown Prosecutor for CPS London North

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