Australia may be a first world country, but it still has third world problems. A New South Wales court has sentenced a father to at least six years in jail for allowing his 12-year-old daughter to illegally marry in an Islamic ceremony.
According to ABC: “The 63-year-old, who cannot be identified to protect the girl’s identity, was convicted in April of procuring his daughter for sex with a man, who was 26 at the time, and being an accessory. Judge Deborah Sweeney said they were serious offences which cannot be excused by the man’s Islamic faith and the sentence needed to deter others from similar conduct.”
The girl, who is now 13, was married to a 26-year-old man in a ceremony conducted by a local sheikh at the family home in the Hunter Valley last year. She miscarried after falling pregnant, and the man she unlawfully married, now 27, has already been jailed for at least 7-and-a-half years, ABC added.
Judge Sweeney said the man ‘failed in his duty as a father to protect his daughter.’
Despite the verdict, he was not taken into custody, prompting the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to make an application on Wednesday to revoke his bail in the Supreme Court, wrote Sky news.
The court heard how he saw it as a solution to stop his daughter from committing a sin, and also heard that he had made a room with a bed up for the newlyweds knowing they would have sexual intercourse. All this was against the wishes of the child’s mother.
Forced marriage in Australia:
Sweeney said his actions were a breach of trust, and said he “lacks insight into his offending.”
She imposed a total sentence of eight years for both offences. With time already served, the man, who has been an unemployed disability pensioner for the past 20 years, will first be eligible for parole in November 2020, wrote ABC.
The issue of child brides is a real problem in a lot of countries, and it appears Australia has joined their ranks.