Ilyas Ashar and wife Tallat have both been jailed for trafficking the girl from Pakistan
when she was 10 (GMP)
A pensioner who repeatedly raped a deaf and mute girl he and his wife trafficked from Pakistan to gain benefits has been jailed for 13 years.
Ilyas Ashar, 84, was found guilty along with his wife Tallat of bringing the girl over to the UK when she was 10-years-old and forcing her to live in a cellar at their home in Eccles, Salford while the pair used her to gain additional benefits.
While living in the "cold, damp" cellar, the victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was repeatedly raped by Mr Ashar over a period of nine years from the age of 10 as well as being forced to work as a servant for the couple.
The woman, now in her 20s, is profoundly deaf and cannot speak. As a youngster she was taught sign language so she could help the pair milk as much as £30,000 benefits from the government.
Mr Ashar was convicted of 13 counts of raping the girl at Manchester Crown Court.
He was convicted at an earlier trial of two counts of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation, along with his wife, as well as two counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit and one of permitting furnishing of false information to obtain a benefit.
As well as two counts of human trafficking, Mrs Ashar was also convicted of four counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit. She has been sentenced to five years in jail.
In court, the judge described the pair as "deeply unpleasant, highly manipulative and dishonest people".
The court heard how the woman was a victim of "forced labour", made to clean and cook for the Ashar's from the age of 10.
Upon sentencing, Judge Peter Lakin said the pair "did not treat this girl as a human being".
He added: "To you she was merely an object to be used, abused and cast aside at will. You took full advantage of her extreme vulnerability.
"You exploited her physically, you exploited her mentally and you exploited her economically.
"All that she had in her life was the love of her family and her own human dignity. You two took that away from her. You consigned her to a life of misery and degradation."
Ch Supt May Doyle, from Greater Manchester Police, previously described Mr Ashar as "pure evil".
The cellar where the victim was forced to sleep for nearly a decade (GMP)
Salford divisional cmdr chief supt Mary Doyle, said: "The sentences reflect the awful nature of this highly emotive case.
"It is right that we focus today on the Ashar's exploitation and cruelty, but I don't want people to lose sight of two importanaspects of this case
"Firstly, the victim has shown almost impossible courage and strength in the face of overwhelming obstacles, both physical and emotional, and has blossomed into the kind of young woman that anyone would be proud to know."
Their daughter, Faaiza Ashar, 46, was found guilty at an earlier trial of two counts of furnishing false information to obtain a benefit and one count of permitting furnishing of false information to obtain a benefit. She was sentenced to a 12 month community order and ordered to carry out 300 hours unpaid work.
Salford City Mayor Ian Stewart said: "Their behaviour was disgusting beyond belief and I am delighted they have finally been convicted for these despicable crimes."
To contact the editor, e-mail: