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Last Updated: Monday, 24 July 2006, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Woman sues bully mother-in-law
Gina Singh
Gina Singh was forced to do housework chores for hours on end
A woman, who was bullied by her mother-in-law, has been awarded 35,000 in damages.

The case was brought under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, normally used to deter stalkers.

Nottingham County Court heard that Gina Satvir Singh endured months of cruelty at the hands of her mother-in-law, Dalbir Kaur Bhakar.

Mrs Singh, from Bunny, Nottinghamshire, went to live with her mother-in-law after getting married.

'Brave' woman

The court was told she moved to London to live with her husband and his family but the marriage broke up after four months.

This is believed to be the first time someone has brought a damages case against a family member under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

Dalbir Kaur Bhakar
Dalbir Kaur Bhakar will have to pay 35,000 damages

The court heard how Mrs Singh was left exhausted after she was also made to work in the house for long hours, doing chores, which included cleaning the toilet without a brush.

She was only allowed to make one telephone call a week and was not permitted out of the family home unless accompanied.

Mrs Singh was also forced to cut her hair, which was against her Sikh religion.

After the hearing, her solicitor John Rosley, said: "This was a very difficult case, brought by a very brave young woman, who is now rebuilding her life.

"There must be many women who could bring such a case but do not.

"My client has only had the strength to run the case due to the staunch support that she received from her family and her faith in her religion."

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