Manchester

Slave case girl 'did not understand border staff'

Sketches of the deaf woman giving evidence in court through a signer
Image caption The woman told the court she was stabbed with a vegetable knife

A woman who was allegedly raped and treated as a slave in the UK when she was a girl told a court she could not understand officials when she arrived.

The deaf woman, who cannot be named, told the jury in Manchester that she was spoken to by passport officials when she arrived from Pakistan.

Ilyas Ashar, 83, and his wife, Tallat Ashar, 66, from Eccles, have denied charges at Minshull Street Crown Court.

Among the charges they face are false imprisonment and human trafficking.

Body ached

The woman, who gave evidence in sign language through an interpreter, arrived in the UK in 2000, when she was between 10 and 12 years old.

She said her body ached from doing so much cooking and cleaning, adding the "old lady" of the house used to spy on her.

She said she was "sad" that she had to do all the work.

When asked where she used to sleep, she said "downstairs where it was cold".

Image caption Ilyas Asha and his wife, Tallat Ashar, deny charges of false imprisonment and human trafficking

The woman told the court she was stabbed with the point of a vegetable knife by Mrs Ashar after she returned her husband's smile.

Previously, she told the court she was slapped, beaten, sexually abused and hit with a rolling pin while forced to work for no money during the day at the couple's home in Eccles, Salford.

Mr and Mrs Ashar both deny two counts of human trafficking into the UK for exploitation and a single count of false imprisonment.

Mr Ashar also denies 12 counts of rape and Mrs Ashar denies one count of sexual assault and unlawful wounding. The couple deny charges of benefit fraud along with their daughter Faaiza, 44.

The trial continues.

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