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Force secures first ever sentence for forced marriage

This week Bedfordshire Police has secured our first ever sentencing for forced marriage.

Kulbir Singh Moroak wanted to stay in the UK, and hoped marriage would secure him a UK passport and visa.

Moroak subjected the victim to physical, verbal and emotional abuse for months, before forcing her into marriage.

In November last year, concerned friends contacted Bedfordshire Police to report the abuse, however the victim at the time feared that if she spoke out, she would be abused further.

Our specialist Emerald domestic abuse team remained in contact with her discretely and continued to provide support and guidance, until she felt ready to come forward herself.

This culminated in a situation where Moroak assaulted the woman and forced her to flee from officers, which led to her eventually opening up to police once he was arrested.

In her victim impact statement, she said: “Having the Bedfordshire Police arrest him on that day was relief for me as I knew then he can’t hurt me. I was fearing for my life, and I thought he was going to kill me.”

She added: “If I did not do this, he would have done this to someone else’s life.”

Moroak, from Luton, was found guilty of forced marriage, coercive and controlling behaviour, three counts of common assault and two counts of intentional strangulation in June.

He was given a prison sentence of four-and-a-half years and handed a restraining order for 10 years.

We have released footage of the moment Moroak was arrested, to help spread awareness about forced marriage and other forms of male violence against women and girls.

We know domestic abuse can often leave victims feeling vulnerable and scared to speak to anyone, including police, but please be assured that we will do everything we can to support victims of abuse in Bedfordshire.

When it comes to forced marriage, we recognise that it is extremely difficult to come forward. Often the victim will need to go against their family, friends and sometimes their community, and that it is not always easy to report.

Whilst this sentencing is the first of its kind in Bedfordshire, we hope it demonstrates that victims’ voices will be heard. It is never too late to come forward and report, and we will listen.

We have a number of specialist trained officers who can support people through any criminal proceedings with respect and care, and we are extremely proud to work so closely with a number of partner organisations who can offer such fantastic support.

We would always encourage our partners to report things through the usual channels and make the relevant safeguarding referrals.

For forced marriage and other forms of honour based abuse specifically, Karma Nirvana is the national charity offering tailored support to victims.

I would also encourage you to signpost people to the Bright Sky app, which is available in multiple languages and can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play.

A full range of local and national support services is available through the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership website.

From us here in Bedfordshire Police, I would also signpost you to our ongoing work to combat male violence against women and girls, as well as our collection of communications materials such as posters, leaflets and social media assets to help spread awareness about this and other vitally important topics in our communities.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Detective Sergeant Nash Hussain

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