Brother jailed for attack on 'Harry Potter' star

22nd January 2011, Comments 0 comments

The brother of a "Harry Potter" film actress was jailed for six months Friday for assaulting her because her boyfriend was not Muslim.

Afshan Azad, 21, who played Potter's classmate Padma Patil in the smash hit films, was subjected to a "prolonged and nasty" beating over her Hindu boyfriend, Manchester Crown Court in northwest England heard.

Her brother Ashraf, 28, overheard her talking on the phone to her boyfriend and subjected to her a lengthy ordeal before her family in which she feared for her life.

During the row at the family home in Manchester on May 21 last year, she was branded a "slag" and a "prostitute" and told: "Marry a Muslim or you die!"

The actress called for leniency and begged the judge not to jail her brother.

However, Roger Thomas sent Ashraf Azad to prison for six months after he pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

"This persistent attack was accompanied by serious and very hurtful abuse and threats," he said.

"It must have been a miserable and frightening experience for your sister which, she suggested, lasted for about three hours or so.

"The background to this offence lies in the concern that you, and perhaps other family members, had about Afshan's relationship with a young man who was not of the Islamic faith.

"This is a sentence that is designed to punish you for what you did and also to send out a clear message to others that domestic violence involving circumstances such as have arisen here cannot be tolerated."

The assault left the actress with swelling, grazes and bruises around her eyes, face, left ear, forehead and forearms.

Prosecutor Richard Vardon told the court that her brother dragged her downstairs by the hair and punched her repeatedly.

Her father suggested sending her back to Bangladesh for an arranged marriage, while her mother called her a "prostitute".

Her brother then said: "I'm going to kill you. I'm actually going to kill you", and left the room, with the door locked behind him by one of the women.

He was then heard "rattling through kitchen drawers" before shouting: "Where are the knives?".

"She was told she had to marry a Muslim or you die," Vardon added.

The following day, she fled the family home through the bedroom window and now lives in London.

© 2011 AFP

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