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Family jailed in 'harrowing' domestic abuse case

Published 21/12/2015

The court heard that Shahena Uddin suffered severe mental and physical abuse over a prolonged period of time at the hands of her family
The court heard that Shahena Uddin suffered severe mental and physical abuse over a prolonged period of time at the hands of her family

Six members of a family have been jailed for their part in what was described by a senior detective as one of the most harrowing cases of domestic abuse he had seen.

Shahena Uddin, 19, died after being severely beaten at the family home in Leavesden Road, Watford, on the night of October 10 last year, police said.

Her family called an ambulance after they discovered her on the bathroom floor the next morning and told paramedics she had not felt well and collapsed.

Medics noticed severe bruising on several parts of Ms Uddin's body and called the police.

Her ordeal included being forced to drink toilet water and eat her own faeces.

Six members of the family were found guilty of various charges at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday and sentenced by Mr Justice Spencer on Monday.

Ms Uddin's sister-in-law Salma Begum, 33, of Leavesden Road, was convicted of murder and conspiracy to pervert the course and sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 18 years.

Suhail Uddin - Ms Uddin's 35-year-old brother and husband of Begum - of Leavesden Road, was sentenced to seven years for causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and three years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, to be served consecutively, totalling 10 years.

Rehena Uddin, 22, Ms Uddin's sister, of Leavesden Road, was sentenced to three years for causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and two years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, to be served consecutively, totalling five years.

Jhuhal Uddin, 33, Ms Uddin's brother, of Middle Ope, was sentenced to six years for causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and three years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, to be served consecutively, totalling nine years.

Tohel Uddin, 24, Ms Uddin's brother, of Middle Ope, was sentenced to four years for causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and two and a half years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, to be served consecutively, totalling six and a half years.

Jewel Uddin, 27, Ms Uddin's brother, of Leavesden Road, was sentenced to five years for causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and three years for conspiring to pervert the course of justice, to be served consecutively, totalling eight years.

During the trial the court heard that Ms Uddin suffered severe mental and physical abuse over a prolonged period of time at the hands of her family.

Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "In all my years as a detective, this case has been possibly one of the most harrowing cases of domestic abuse I have dealt with.

"How any person can inflict such violence and mental abuse on someone is beyond comprehension - and even more so when those inflicting that abuse are members of a family who were supposed to have a duty of care.

"Shahena Uddin suffered unimaginable abuse both physically and mentally which was tantamount to torture. What she was subjected to - being denied water, being made to drink toilet water and being forced to eat her own faeces - are just a few of the extremely disturbing 'punishments' her family inflicted on her, isolating her and making her life agony.

"To think that a young woman in Watford in the 21st century was subjected to such cruelty in a place where she was supposed to feel safe and loved is incomprehensible and there are no words to fully portray the inhumane cruelty she was subjected to. Shahena's death must not be in vain.

"As a society, and in honour of Shahena's memory, the best tribute we can all give her is to prevent this from happening again. We all have a duty of care to each other and prevent people from such suffering. If you are being subjected to domestic abuse, or you know someone who is, please speak out - there is help available."

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