Dad tried to stop girl, 12, from marrying

A father who says he tried to prevent his 12-year-old daughter marrying a 26-year-old man, “couldn’t stop her”, a court has heard.

But he denied the marriage celebrant had asked whether the couple were adults before the ceremony.

The man has been charged with procuring a child aged under 14 for unlawful sexual activity and being an accessory before the fact to a serious indictable offence.

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On Wednesday, Muhammad Tasawar, the sheikh who conducted the girl’s “marriage”, said he asked the couple whether they were adults.

The father’s defence barrister Mario Licha said Mr Tasawar never asked his client about their ages.

“I did,” the sheikh replied through an interpreter.

During his judge-alone trial on Wednesday, the Sydney District Court heard the father told a child protection worker he tried to prevent his daughter from marrying the man.

“I had concerns for my daughter but couldn’t stop her,” the protection worker said she was told by the father during an interview.

“I said she can’t have sex outside of marriage.”

The “husband”, who cannot be named, was earlier this month sentenced to at least seven and a half years in jail for persistent sexual abuse between January 11 and February 5 last year.

After he was arrested in February last year, the girl was taken to hospital suffering a sharp abdominal pain, the court heard during his trial.

She was having an ectopic pregnancy and miscarried.

The father told the bride on her wedding day neither she nor her husband should use contraception, the crown alleged earlier in the trial.

He hosted the pair at his home the weekend after the wedding and allegedly arranged a marital bed.

The next morning he asked his daughter if she needed to shower before prayers, in line with Islamic practice after sexual intercourse, the court has heard.

The trial continues.


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