AN INTERNATIONAL ISSUE

Tom Deegan on a disturbing tale of abuse and recovery

This is the ‘true’ story of a twelve-year-old Pakistani girl forced into a marriage with a paedophile, a British peer, who falsified birth records and passport applications in order to smuggle his child bride from Pakistan into Britain. She was kept prisoner in a house in Bangor, Northern Ireland, where her ‘husband’ shared his young bride with his paedophile friends.

Ruby suffered repeated rapes and abuse at their hands for several years. Her ordeal ended when, at15, she escaped by jumping from her third floor room into the back garden of the house, injuring herself severely in the process. She limped to a local police station where she was lucky enough to meet a kind senior officer who helped her. Ruby was treated for her back and leg injuries and made a full recovery. The police officer visited her husband and compelled him to release her passport. But no charges were ever brought against this particular paedophile, who is now deceased.

The words ‘husband’ and ‘true’ above are in inverted commas because the marriage was illegal, due to Ruby’s age, and her story has been distorted by the author, who took the actual events and transformed them into a hotchpotch fantasy of  blackmagic mixed with mind-boggling historical nonsense. For that reason I cannot recommend this book other than as a curiosity.

Nevertheless, the basic facts were true. Happily, Ruby managed to recover from her dreadful experiences. Naturally intelligent, she took courses to educate herself and recently became a member of the International Council of Jurists. She now runs a charitable organisation called Ruby’s Rescue Centres and has established a centre in Sri Lanka to help victims of paedophile abusers.
Ruby wants to open centres in India, Ireland, Britain, Thailand and other places where paedophiles operate. She can be contacted at: ruby_akhtar@hotmail.co.uk

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