A woman who described herself as a traditional Pakistani wife has told a family court judge how she was made to kiss her mother-in-law’s feet after she complained to police about her husbands behaviour towards her.
The woman told the court that she had been ‘brought to heel’ and ‘made to toe the party line’.
The judge has been asked to analyse issue relating to the woman’s two children.
The judge, Mr Justice Newton, said the woman and her husband were both of Pakistani origin and are both in their late 30’s.
She was born in Pakistan and moved to the Oldham, Lancashire, after their arranged marriage in Pakistan nine years ago.
The court was told how the woman contacted police to complain about her husbands behaviour and because of that reason she was forced to kiss her mother-in-law’s feet and ask for forgiveness.
She was then taken to Pakistan in late 2011, about two months after the complaint to police, and was left there with one of her children for three years.
Mr Justice Newton said the woman had been ‘forcibly separated’ from one of her children.
The judge added: ‘It can be seen with that background how very difficult it must have been for her to summon the assistance of the police. She described what occurred thereafter … how she had been made to be brought to heel, made to toe the party line and, indeed she says, made to participate in what can only be called a degrading experience, which was that she should be submissive and obedient to her mother-in-law, including bending down in front of her and even, she says, kissing her mother-in-law’s feet.’
Mr Justice Newton said the woman’s husband was an ‘essentially weak and shallow’ and ‘spoilt’ man who ‘does as he is told by his mother’.
The judge said the woman’s mother-in-law was ‘selfish and self-centred’ and ‘utterly manipulative’ – and he added: ‘Amongst the galaxy of thousands, probably tens of thousands of witnesses whom the court has heard over many years, including serious criminal cases, this witness was amongst the toughest, most focused, manipulative and callous that I have ever heard.’
He concluded that the two children should now live with their mother in England – away from their paternal family.
The judge said the woman was devoted to her children and focused on getting them ‘reunited’.
He said she had done a ‘remarkable job’.
Mr Justice Newton said the woman’s husband could see the children.
But the judge ordered the man not to ‘speak ill’ of his wife – and he ruled that no other member of the paternal family could have contact with the youngsters.