A YOUNG mum said she was kept like a slave in the home she shared with her husband, a court was told.

The town's magistrates were told how Fozia Gul was slapped by Mohammed Khan, 24, because she had not worn her cardigan when his brother was present.

Mrs Gul, who does not speak English, shared a house with Khan and his family.

She said she was not allowed out of the house and, when she had arrived in England, had been banned from leaving her bedroom unless she was accompanied.

She was said to have previously reported her husband's conduct.

The hearing was told the victim said she was in a very unhappy marriage, but her husband wanted it to carry on.

Mrs Gul is now in a women’s refuge with their child.

Khan was given a 12-month restraining order and can only contact Mrs Gul through a solicitor regarding their child.

The defendant, of Grey Street, Burnley, who sobbed throughout the proceedings, had admitted assault by beating at Burnley on May 25.

He was given a six-month community order, with 36 hours at an attendance centre and must pay £85 costs.

Bench chairman, Stephen Tomlinson told him his behaviour had been 'completely and totally unacceptable'.

He said: “If you do not obey this order, the next step will be a period of custody.”

Basil Dearing, for Khan, said the separation from his wife and child had caused him a great deal of anguish and heart-searching.

Khan did not want his marriage to end but the indications were Mrs Gul had had enough.

The defendant did not know where his wife and child were and had not tried to contact them while the case was ongoing.

Anjum Anwar, chair of Women’s Voice, said: “This sort of thing is absolutely appalling.

"We must send out a strong message that this is a criminal offence and it will not be tolerated.

“It could be the tip of the iceberg. People could be frightened to come forward, worried about where they will go, if they have anywhere for children to come with them or if they can’t speak the language.

“At Women’s Voice we are going into education institutions to give women the belief that they can stand up to it and do something about it, and that they have got somewhere to go.”

Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle said: "I’ve heard of these things going on but I never thought it would happen in Burnley.

“The vast majority of the Asian community in Burnley live quite normal lives along with everybody else, and we have a lot of community cohesion initiatives which strengthen relations.

“I am shocked to hear this has been going on and I’m glad this person had the courage to report it.

“We need to make sure the support is in place so that people can have the courage and confidence to report it and feel safe doing so."

Coun Shah Hussain, who represents the Daneshouse and Stoneyholme area of Burnley, which has a large Asian community, said: “This sort of behaviour is not tolerated in any community.

“It is the first time I have heard of such an incident and hopefully it is just an isolated case.

“We are lucky to have support mechanisms in place, such as the women’s refuge and social services, that people who feel they are being abused can rely on.”