• Sunday, December 03, 2023

UK News

Woman found unconscious in 2015 remains in vegetative state

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

A PAKISTANI woman who suffered a ‘severe’ burn to her lower back in 2015 continues to remain in her vegetative state while her West Yorkshire-based husband and in-laws are facing trial over the serious physical harm.

Paramedics found Ambreen Fatima Sheikh unconscious at her family home in Huddersfield in August 2015 after they responded to the report that she “couldn’t breathe properly”.

Ambreen was admitted to the local Royal Infirmary but she has never regained consciousness.

Her family had allegedly left her unconscious for days before calling for help.

Ambreen wed Asgar Sheikh in an arranged marriage in Pakistan in 2013 but joined her husband’s family in the UK only in November 2014.

Months later, her mother-in-law Shabnam claimed she failed to cook chapatis or meet the family’s expectations and accused her of smoking ‘drug-filled cigarettes’.

Shabnam’s cousin Naheela Saddiq told Leeds Crown Court what she had heard from Ambreen and her family.

Naheela said when she asked Ambreen if she had smoked a cigarette with a drug in it, “she told me that Asgar has given her the cigarette.”

“I said that it is not good offering a cigarette to his wife and smoking it with drugs in there.”

Naheela also told the court how Shabnam talked about Ambreen being “smelly” by not taking a shower or keeping her “body clean”.

Naheela told the family that the problem could be addressed with shampoo, deodorants and perfumes.

“I told Shabnam that she is in a new environment, she has come from Pakistan and to give her time, give her six months to get used to it,” Naheela said, speaking through an interpreter.

“Shabnam was saying that Ambreen is not cooking chapatis, not doing chores for her husband, stuff like that.”

“I said that if you cannot get on with this girl, send her back to Pakistan,” Naheela told the court.

Khalid wanted to send Ambreen back to Pakistan but Shabnam refused, the court heard.

Asgar, Ambreen’s father-in-law Khalid Sheikh, Shabnam Sheikh and two other family members have been charged with causing or allowing a vulnerable adult to suffer serious physical harm. But they have denied the accusations.

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