Six members of a family have been jailed for what one detective described as one of the most harrowing domestic abuse cases he had ever seen.
Shahena Uddin, 19, died after being severely beaten at the family home in Watford, on the outskirts of London. The court heard how she had been force-fed, slapped, beaten and often banned from drinking or using the toilet.
She was also made to lick a dirty toilet seat, drink toilet water and eat her own vomit as a punishment.
The International Business Times says the abuse was only discovered when Shahena’s family found her lying unconscious on the bathroom floor October last year and called paramedics, telling them she had not felt well and collapsed. She was already dead when she arrived at hospital, however.
Medics noticed severe bruising on her body and contacted the police.
Salma Begum, 33, who was Ms Uddin’s sister-in-law, was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. She was sentenced to life imprisonment and will spend at least 18 years behind bars before she can be considered for parole.
Five of Ms Uddin’s siblings — Suhail Uddin, 35 (Salma’s husband), Jhuhal Uddin, 33, Jewel Uddin, 27, Tohel Uddin, 24, and Rehena Uddin, 22 — were found guilty of causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
Shahena left a number of letters, which were read out in court, that reveal the extent of the abuse she suffered.
Detective Inspector Fraser Wylie said: “Shahena Uddin suffered unimaginable abuse both physically and mentally which was tantamount to torture. The letters read out in court paint a picture of a young woman who was trapped in a life of unbearable misery.”
“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 an there are no words to fully portray the inhumane cruelty she was subjected to,” he added.” Shahena’s death must not be in vain.”