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Harry Potter star Afshan Azad fled from her family after terror ordeal

By Pat Hurst

A Harry Potter star was beaten, called a “slag” and threatened with death after she met a young man who was not a Muslim, a court heard yesterday.

Victim Afshan Azad (22) plays Padma Patil, a classmate of the teenage wizard, in the blockbuster films based on the children's books by JK Rowling.

She was assaulted and branded a “prostitute” after meeting a young Hindu man, a relationship which brought anger from her father Abul Azad (53) and brother Ashraf (28), Manchester Crown Court heard.

The frightened actress later fled through her bedroom window after threats were made to kill her.

But, despite attempts to get her to come to court for the trial of her father and brother, Miss Azad would not attend voluntarily, the court was told.

Both men were charged with making threats to kill her, and her brother was also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm on his sister.

Instead of both going on trial yesterday, the prosecution decided to accept a guilty plea of assault by her brother, and both men were formally found not guilty of making threats to kill.

Her father agreed to be bound over to keep the peace for 12 months.

Her brother was bailed on condition he lives at the home address, does not contact his sister and does not travel to London. He will be sentenced on January 21.

Richard Vardon QC, prosecuting, told the court: “The reason for the assault, apparently her association with a Hindu young man, that apparently being disapproved of by her family who are Muslim.

“Specifically she spoke not only of assault but also threats to kill, made jointly by her father and brother.”

Miss Azad made a statement to the police on May 22 “having apparently been so scared of her family she left her home address via her bedroom window.”

However, after going to police she “made it plain” to officers and lawyers that she did not want any action taken against her family, otherwise it would put her in “genuine danger.”

The prosecutor said she later made “retraction statements” to police and reiterated her unwillingness to support a prosecution.

Chudi Grant, representing the father, told the court he “emphatically” denied any wrong-doing.

Binding over Abul Azad, Judge Roger Thomas QC warned him: “You have got to be of good and peaceable behaviour towards your daughter.”

And to her brother Ashraf he said: “Domestic violence can result, even for a man such as you, in imprisonment.”

Belfast Telegraph


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