Grandmother jailed for ordering kidnap and torture of son-in-law over unpaid £25,000 dowry
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 10:46 AM on 20th November 2009
A grandmother who ordered the kidnap and torture of her son-in-law over a £25,000 unpaid dowry has been jailed for seven years.
Sufia Khatun, 70, told sons Abu Hasnath, 40, and Abu Jahinger, 26, to ‘finish off’ Abul Kalam during a terrifying eight-hour ordeal.
In a ‘wicked, gratuitous and vindictive’ attack, Mr Kalam was repeatedly beaten and told he would be murdered and buried in Epping Forest if his relatives did not pay up.
The victim was left with a badly fractured skull and had to have a metal plate inserted in his eye socket, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Khatun, Hasnath and Jahinger were each jailed for seven years after they were convicted of kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail and assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent.
Judge Anthony Beddoe told Khatun: ‘You were the one who directed your sons to do what they have done.
‘You were in my judgement the prime mover as far as these events are concerned. You were the head of the family, and in a position to have stopped your sons.’
The victim had written to the court begging for mercy for his in-laws.
But Judge Beddoe said: ‘Obligation to obey the laws of this land transcends cultural, social or other pressures. Those pressures cannot excuse offending as serious or vindictive as this is.
‘This was a wicked enterprise, carried out for monetary gain, involving the forced detention of another human being, who with good reason thought he might lose his life that day.’
He described the beatings as ‘quite gratuitous’ and added: ‘None of you has expressed any remorse for what happened that day.’
The defendants showed no reaction as sentence was passed, but relatives in the public gallery buried their heads in their hands and wailed.
Mr Kalam had married Khatun’s daughter Momataz Chowdry, but the pair separated with £25,000 of the dowry outstanding.
After a series of failed negotiations over the unpaid cash, Khatun ordered Hasnath and Jahinger to seize the victim and bring him to the family home in East Ham.
Jahinger confronted the victim on May 20 last year and warned him he would be shot dead if he didn’t follow him to a car nearby.
In his evidence to the court, Mr Kalam said the pair set upon him as soon as he entered their house.
He told jurors: ‘They wouldn’t leave me alone. They were slapping and kicking me. I was bleeding.
‘The two brothers took in turns to hit me in front of the mother. They said they were going to kill me. Then the mother told them to finish me off.
‘They said after they had killed me they would take me near a big forest. Then they said they couldn’t kill me here as the law was too good. They would go to Bangladesh and do it there.’
While Mr Kalam was being held prisoner, his captors rang his brother to demand the £25,000.
His family were eventually able to negotiate his release, after promising to pay the money in full. They subsequently called police.
The court heard Mr Kalam still has post traumatic stress disorder. The judge praised his ‘bravery’ for taking the stand to give evidence against his kidnappers.
Khatun, Hasnath and Jahinger, all from East Ham, had denied kidnap, false imprisonment, inflicting grievous bodily harm and blackmail.