A woman who suffered severe head injury from a past violent rape was ‘married off’ by her father for money in a deal to improve the husband’s UK immigration prospects, a judge has ruled.
After analysing the case at a hearing in a specialist court dedicated to issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, Mr Justice Baker concluded the Islamic ceremony was “arranged entirely” by the woman’s father and husband.
Stating that the ceremony at Northampton Islamic Centre — which was solemnised by an imam, according to the Oxford Mail — took place at a time when the woman was “vulnerable to influence”, the judge concluded that the marriage is not valid under UK law.
After hearing evidence from a number of witnesses, including medical specialists and an expert in Islamic law, Mr. Baker said the “primary motive” of the husband in the case was to “achieve an improved immigration status”.
An investigation conducted for Channel 4 last year suggested a large majority of marriages involving Muslim wives in Britain are not valid in UK law, with almost two-thirds of married Muslim women reporting being wed in Nikah ceremonies — leaving them unprotected in family courts.