A man who forced a woman to marry him and left her fearing for her life has been jailed, in one UK police force’s first ever forced marriage conviction.

Kulbir Singh Moroak wanted to stay in the UK and hoped marriage would secure him a UK passport and visa.

He subjected his victim to physical, verbal and emotional abuse for months before forcing her to marry him.

In November of last year, concerned friends contacted police to report the abuse but the victim feared that if she spoke out, she would be abused further, Bedfordshire Live reports.

Bedfordshire Police’s domestic abuse team remained in discreet contact with her to provide support and guidance until she felt ready to come forward.

This culminated in a situation where Moroak assaulted the woman and forced her to flee to the safety of officers, which led to her reporting the attack to police after he was arrested.

In her victim impact statement, she said: “Having the police arrest him on that day was a relief for me as I knew then he couldn’t hurt me.

She added: “I was fearing for my life, I thought he was going to kill me. If I did not do this, he would have done this to someone else.”

Judge Alan Blake said the victim made clear she felt exploited in messages to Moroak.

“She said that she did not wish to marry you, you were determined to do so to regularise your status. When asked why she felt she had no choice, she said because she had no one to turn to and the beatings (Moroak) was doing,” said Judge Blake.

“The majority of the coercive and controlling behaviour in my judgement was the use of violence or the threat of violence.”

Moroak, of no fixed address, was found guilty of forced marriage, coercive and controlling behaviour, three counts of common assault and two counts of intentional strangulation.

On August 25 at Luton Crown Court, he was jailed for four years and six months and handed a restraining order of 10 years.

Detective Constable Chloe Plowman said: “The victim was left incredibly scared and alone and I cannot commend her bravery enough for coming forward and speaking out in such difficult circumstances.

“She was under unimaginable psychological and emotional pressure to not speak to police.

“We know domestic abuse can often leave victims feeling vulnerable and scared to speak to anyone, including police, but please be assured that we will do everything we can to support you.

“When it comes to forced marriage, often the victim will need to go against their family, friends and sometimes their community, and that is not always easy.

“Whilst this sentencing is the first of its kind in Bedfordshire, we hope it demonstrates that your voice will be heard. It is never too late to come forward and report, we will listen.

“There are specialist trained officers who can support you through any criminal proceedings with respect and care. And we work with a number of partner organisations who can offer guidance and stepping stones to rebuilding your future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *