‘Harry Potter’ actress asked judge not to jail brother

Saturday, January 22, 2011

LONDON - Afshan Azad, who acted in the “Harry Potter” movie series, has said she has forgiven her elder brother who beat her up for having a relationship with a non-Muslim man and asked a British court not to send him to jail.

Afshan, who played Padma Patil in the film series based on the boy wizard character, had pleaded with the judge to show her brother leniency despite his violent attack after he discovered that she was involved in a relationship with a non-Muslim man.

But Judge Roger Thomas of the Manchester Crown Court said the May 21 incident was a “prolonged and nasty attack”, adding that domestic violence in the home could not be tolerated, the Daily Mail reported.

Ashraf, 28, was handed a six-month jail sentence Friday despite the plea from his sister for leniency.

The court heard that Ashraf left his younger sister bruised and swollen after grabbing her by the hair, throwing her across a room and punching her in the head and back as she cowered on the floor of the family home. He pleaded guilty in December to assaulting Afshan at their family home.

The actress wrote a letter to the judge asking for her brother not to be locked up and saying that she had forgiven him.

But the judge called Ashraf’s assault an “ill-tempered attempt to dissuade her from continuing the relationship”.

Richard Vardon, prosecuting, said Ashraf overheard his sister talking on her mobile phone in her bedroom. He believed she was talking to the man she was in a relationship with, a Hindu. The Azad family are “devout Muslims”.

Vardon said: “She was told that she had to marry a Muslim or die. She was feeling very scared.”

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