A man has been jailed for four-and-a-half years after admitting fathering his daughter’s three children.
Ashraf Khan was called a “wicked” man by the judge after his illicit children fought for justice for their mother, whose secret was only revealed when she spoke out on her deathbed.
Khan, 81, was arrested after the woman’s husband, who had DNA tests to confirm the children’s parentage, reported the matter to West Yorkshire Police in 2012.
Prosecutor Abigail Langford told the court the complainant was born in Pakistan in the 1960s, one of Khan’s six children.
She married her husband there in the early 1980s, before moving to Bradford, West Yorkshire, to join him and her father.
She went on to give birth to three children in that decade before passing away.
Ms Langford said: “It was on her deathbed she told her husband the defendant was in fact the father of her three children.”
The man did not report the matter to police straightaway, Ms Langford explained: “He wished to continue to act as a father and care for the children he had brought up as his own.”
When the matters were reported to police in 2012, Khan was back in Pakistan and did not return to the UK until 2016.
When he was interviewed in September of that year, the court heard he “denied having any sexual relations with his daughter.”
Ms Langford said a medical report concerning the three children had found various ailments “directly attributed to their incestual parentage,” including an inability to feel certain kinds of pain, resulting in injuries such as burns during their childhoods.
In a joint victim impact statement, the children said Khan’s offending had caused psychological damage and had impacted on their physical health.
They also paid tribute to their mother’s “honourable” husband for his “fortitude and selflessness throughout the years.”
Khan, from Bradford, pleaded guilty to three counts of incest a month ahead of a proposed trial.
His barrister, Nigel Jamieson, said his client suffered from poor health, but accepted a prison sentence would not be unjust.
He said: “He comes to court today knowing that it must be an immediate custodial sentence.”
The Recorder of Bradford, Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC, told Khan: “You are a very dishonourable and wicked gentleman, we all now see.”
Speaking of how the woman brought Khan’s offending to light, the judge said: “Her deathbed confession, how dreadful that must have been. Unburdening her soul about this awful trauma she had carried with her.”
He told Khan: “Those who do this will be regarded as very serious offenders, but in this case, the harm is off the scale.
“You are of good character, but that is a shallow comment, because you have got away with this for years.”
Judge Durham Hall said the guidelines for an offence of incest gave a maximum sentence of two years, but added the 18-month sentences for each three counts would run consecutively, giving a total prison term of 54 months.
Speaking after the case, one of the woman’s three children said: “We would like this case to bring awareness of incest being committed, and for other people who may have experienced something similar to come forward so that other offenders who have committed similar crimes can be tried through the courts.”
They also highlighted extracts from their victim impact statement, which read: “The only one who was there for us was a man of no blood relation who brought us up as if we were his own children.
“The significant choice and sacrifice he made, we will never be able to thank him enough.
“It takes a special man to be a dad, as anyone can be a father. He is one of a kind and we will never be able to repay him for what he has done for us.
“The man pleading guilty was life-changing for us. He had portrayed a clean-cut image for many years, but secrets cannot be hidden and lies eventually catch up with you.
“The psychological and mental damage he has done is significant to so many lives, especially to our lives.
“It has been a long journey from discovering the horrific acts he committed to his daughter to reporting the matter to the police.
“With the help and support of the fantastic police force and the CPS, today, after many, many years since our mother passed away, we have finally got justice for our mum.”