We have often discussed the relatively low sentences handed out in some English cases. While our country goes to the opposite extreme, it sometimes shocks the conscience to see disproportionately light sentences. One such case is that of Ilyas and Tallat Ashar who brought a 10-year-old girl to England where she was repeatedly raped, kept in appalling conditions against her will, and used as more of a slave than a servant. That was roughly a decade of abuse. However, Ilyas Ashar, 84, who was found guilty of 13 counts of rape, was jailed for 13 years. That is roughly a year for year of confinement, rape, and abuse. Tallat Ashar, 68, convicted of benefit fraud and trafficking, got only five years.
While the sentence will likely result in his dying in prison given his age, it is still a sentence that seems modest in comparison to the list of wrongs done to this child. If there were a case for a life sentence, it would seem to be the trafficking of a child to be raped and effectively enslaved for roughly a decade. The girl, from Pakistan, is also deaf and cannot speak.
The two then claimed years of benefits for the child as she was used as house servant and forced to live in the cellar.
Judge Peter Lakin acknowledged that the couple showed no remorse and that the girl was “exploited. . . physically, mentally and economically.” For “consigned her to a life of misery and degradation” Lakin gave them 13 and 5 year terms. He noted that the two are “deeply unpleasant, highly manipulative and dishonest people.” By the way, their biological daughter Faaiza Ashar, 46, was given only a 12-month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work for benefit fraud.
Do you consider these sentences to be sufficiently high given the rape and abuse of this disabled girl?