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Saturday, June 6, 1998 Published at 03:05 GMT 04:05 UK


Court jails parents for kidnapping daughter

Bradford has a large community with roots in the sub-continent

The parents of a 20-year-old girl have been jailed by a court in England for doping her with the drug Rohypnol and trying to fly her to Pakistan.

Shopkeeper Mohammed Bashir, 45, and his wife Sekina Khan, 40, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, wept in the dock at Manchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to kidnapping and administering a noxious substance to their daughter Rehane.

Their counsel told a judge they had acted out of love for their British-born daughter Rehane, who they believed was in a relationship with a jailed drugs dealer.

But Judge Anthony Ensor told the couple: "I have to make it quite plain to people like you who endeavour to kidnap or remove their children out of the jurisdiction of this land for your own purposes that it will not be tolerated."

[ image: Mrs Khan and her husband were at their
Mrs Khan and her husband were at their "wits' end"
Bashir was jailed for two years and his wife for six months.

Leslie Hull, prosecuting, said Rehane had left home for university partly because she had been under pressure to go to Pakistan and get married. But she was given a drink which contained the drug Rohypnol at her grandfather's funeral and driven the 50 miles to Manchester Airport asleep.

She regained some of her senses at the airport, and despite being told by her parents that she was in hospital, became distressed and angry and alerted airport staff.

Defence solicitor Andrew Walker on why the parents attempted kidnapping
The judge told the couple: "I am aware of your cultural and religious traditions, particularly with regard to arranged marriages. But clearly your daughter is a British citizen and is entitled to the protection of the law in this country."

Mr Hull told the court that while the couple retained their traditional culture their daughter had been keen to pursue a more independent life, not least because part of that tradition involved arranged marriages.

"They were adamant they hadn't intended to harm their daughter and had done what they had done in what they regarded as her best long-term interests," said Mr Hull.

[ image: The judge at Manchester Crown Court said their actions could not be tolerated]
The judge at Manchester Crown Court said their actions could not be tolerated
Mohammed Latif, for Bashir, said the case was "tragic". The couple had an intelligent and loving daughter. They encouraged her to go to university and provided money for that, which was unusual in their community.

BBC Correspondent Kevin Bouquet reports from Manchester
Mr Latif said: "His intention and purpose in taking her to Pakistan was with a view to her settling down and returning so she could continue with her education. He felt that his reasons were that he was seeking to protect his daughter."

He said obviously an arranged marriage had been mentioned because it was part of their cultural background.

Mr Stuart Neale, for Khan, said: "It shows as nothing else could have done how much they loved their daughter.

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