Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Wednesday, 16 September 2009 14:58 UK

Court told of family rape terror

Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court heard the girl was also beaten by her mother

A woman was sexually abused from the age of five to 22, becoming pregnant when she was 14, Cardiff Crown Court has been told.

She was terrified when the sexual abuse began when she was a girl shortly after her mother remarried, the jury heard.

The court was told that she was repeatedly abused as a child by her step-uncle and later in life also by her stepfather and step-cousin.

The three, who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny all charges.

When she fell pregnant at the age of 14, the court was told that she was hidden, sometimes in a wardrobe.

Prosecutor Marion Lewis said the first time she saw a doctor she was seven months pregnant.

"When the baby was born the girl's parents told friends and neighbours it was their own - before flying their daughter to India for an arranged marriage," she said.

She was hidden, sometimes in a wardrobe and visitors were told she'd gone back to India
Marion Lewis, prosecuting

A step-uncle, 55, is alleged to be the baby's father.

Miss Lewis said the girl went to police in 2008 and told them she had been repeatedly abused from the age of five.

"She was frightened and also believed her mother knew what was going on.

"When aged 14 and a pupil at school, her stomach was expanding and a scan revealed she was seven months pregnant," Miss Lewis said.

"Her mother beat her all over her body apart from the face with a curtain pole.

"She was hidden, sometimes in a wardrobe and visitors were told she'd gone back to India.

"She was terrified and didn't know how to explain about her step-uncle until she was in labour when she named him and was called a liar by her mother."

The jury was told when the girl was 18 she was married in India before later returning to the family in Cardiff.

Miss Lewis said: "Back in Cardiff the abuse resumed and her husband later divorced her."

While her step-uncle continued his abuse, the court heard that two other members of her family then raped and sexually abused her as well.

Her step-uncle, stepfather, 50, and step-cousin, 27, face 22 counts of rape and indecency.

The trial continues.



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