A COUPLE and their son who put a pregnant women through “sustained episodes of violence” have been given suspended prison sentences.

Saira Ahmed was two months away from giving birth when the abuse from her husband and his parents began at the family’s home in Ferndale Road, Banbury.

Mudassar Ahmed, the victim’s 29-year-old husband, and his parents Halima and Iftikhar, both 52, were each convicted of two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of false imprisonment at a trial last month. Jurors heard the offences began in June 2007 when the 28-year-old victim was punched and kicked.

Two months later, and after the child’s birth, in August 2007, Mrs Ahmed was again physically assaulted and imprisoned in the house with all the doors and windows locked. She was also separated from her baby.

The jury rejected the defendants’ claim that Mrs Ahmed made up the allegations to get a divorce that would not bring ‘shame’ on herself or her family.

Judge Anthony King sentenced both Mudassar and Iftikhar Ahmed to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, on Friday, and ordered them to each carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work.

Halima Ahmed was given nine months in jail, suspended for 18 months, and told to do 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Mudassar and Iftikhar were also told to pay £1,500 costs within six months, while Halima must pay £1,000.

Speaking outside court, Crown Prosecution Service barrister Ben Gumpert said: “The family’s outward appearance was of calm and respectability, but behind this front they subjected the victim to verbal bullying which escalated into sustained episodes of violence.”