A VIOLENT husband who kept his wife a prisoner in their marital home for 16 years, subjected her to regular beatings, has been jailed.
Aziz Rehman, 47, would only allow partner Zeenit Bibi, 36, to leave the house to do the school run and prevented her from seeing doctors about her injuries.
The brutal businessman would often batter his wife and on one occasion smashed her on the head with a dumbbell and hit her with a metal chair.
A court heard how Rehman kept Zeenit captive at their home in Hodge Hill, Birmingham, between 2000 and 2016.
During that period, Zeenit was prevented from seeing her family — even though some lived just five minutes away.
Rehman would also secretly wedge twigs in the front doorframe whenever he left the house so he would know if his wife had been out.
Zeenit finally escaped and raised the alarm while her abusive husband was out of the country in July 2016 — on a trip in order for him to get married to another woman, Mrs Bibi later learned.
Officers safeguarded her at an address not known to her husband where she was reunited with family members she’d been stopped from seeing for 16 years.
Rehman was arrested on July 28 that year following his return to the UK and in an interview denied ever assaulting his wife or controlling her behaviour and movements.
But a jury at Birmingham Crown Court found him guilty of assaulting his wife and of coercive control following a two-week trial, and today he was jailed for three years and nine months.
He was also convicted on one count of wilful assault against a girl after the court heard he once pulled out a clump of Mrs Bibi’s hair, beat her with vacuum cleaner attachments and threatened to cut her tongue out with a knife.
Sentencing him, Judge Roderick Henderson told Rehman he had completely controlled his wife and treated her like his property.
He added: ‘People are entitled to a basic level of respect from their partners and not to be assaulted, bullied or controlled — this behaviour will not be tolerated.’
The court heard Rehman — who owns Arden Superstore and off licence in Saltley, Birmingham — married his wife in 2000, but he became violent towards her just two days into their marriage.
One regular visitor to the home told detectives how the curtains were always drawn and described Rehman as an ‘oppressor’ who ran the home like a prison.
During the assault on his wife in May 2016, Rehman slapped her and called her a ‘bitch, a slag, a prostitute and a whore’.
He then hit her with a chair and while she was lying face down on the floor, struck her with a dumbbell.
After the case, Zeenit bravely spoke out about her ordeal and described the harrowing way she was treated by her husband.
She said: ‘The last time he was abusive, I didn’t think I was going to make it. May 4, 2016 was the last time he laid the heavy hand on me.
‘I was hit quite a bit and then I was left there. And I think it was that night that I made my decision that I need to move from here, I need to get out of here.
‘I had dumbbells put through my head, a foldable chair hit on my knee. I wasn’t walking properly. I wasn’t allowed to go to the doctors or be in hospital.
‘It was all dealt with in-house. It was going to the point where my children were aware of what was going on.
‘He was a very controlling man. It had to be his way or no way. The family and me used to just flow with him to keep peace in his home.
‘No phones, no net service, no computers, no contact when he’s not around locking the doors.
‘I wasn’t allowed to be out of the house unless he was with me or his mother was with me.
‘I looked for help. I went and spoke about it. I went to one of my friends.
‘I can’t explain how chuffed I am, how glad I am that somebody did hear me out and that I was heard, because throughout it all, I was told that I was lying.
‘I didn’t think anybody was going to believe me, which was one of the reasons I left it so long, because in the outside world he used to make it look that we were the perfect family.
‘Nobody deserves this kind of life.
‘I couldn’t shout this out any louder than I am now. Speak up about it. Talk to that one person. Do something about it. You might not see tomorrow.’
Investigating officer, PC Maria Watts, from West Midlands Police’s domestic abuse team, welcomed the conviction and urged other domestic abuse survivors to seek support to end their suffering.
She added: ‘The abuse started the day after their arranged marriage when he slapped her across the face having falsely accused her of having had a previous intimate relationship.
‘Mrs Bibi was tormented throughout her marriage: she was forbidden from seeing friends and family, regularly assaulted, denied access to a mobile phone, and was effectively living a life of domestic servitude.
‘She went 16 years without seeing her family even though some lived just a few miles away.’
She added: ‘Rehman denied any wrongdoing and suggested his wife and others were colluding against him. However, we secured evidence from two independent visitors to the house who both told how Rehman ran the home like a prison.
‘I’m pleased the court has recognised the severity of the abuse — emotional and psychological torment as well as physical assaults — and handed down a prison sentence.
‘Mrs Bibi and her family have now been able to move on with their lives and I wish them the very best for their futures.’