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Harry Potter actress was beaten and branded a prostitute by her brother after dating man 'who was not a Muslim'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 2:05 AM on 21st December 2010
A Harry Potter actress fled her home after her father and brother threatened to kill her for going out with a Hindu man, a court heard yesterday.
Afshan Azad, 22, who appeared in the blockbuster movies as Padma Patil, was attacked and branded a ‘slag’ when Muslim relatives found out about her boyfriend.
The actress was so scared that she escaped out of her bedroom window and later fled her home city.
Police were called and her father, Abul Azad, 54, and brother, Ashraf, 28, were arrested and charged with making threats to kill her. The actress’s brother was also charged with assault.
But Miss Azad refused to testify and yesterday failed to turn up at their trial at Manchester Crown Court.
Instead Crown prosecutors decided to accept a guilty plea to assault by her brother while both men were formally found not guilty of making threats to kill.
Her father accepted to be bound over for £500 to keep the peace for 12 months.
Miss Azad played a witch who studied at Hogwarts School in the same year as Harry Potter, played by Daniel Radcliffe.
She first appeared as her character, the identical twin sister of Parvati Patil, in Harry Potter and The Goblet Of Fire.
Richard Vardon QC, prosecuting, said the actress was ‘the victim of an unpleasant assault by her brother’ at the family home in Longsight, Manchester, in May.
He added: ‘The reason for the assault, apparently her association with a Hindu man, that apparently being disapproved of by her family who are Muslim.’
Mr Vardon said Abul Azad had been woken up by his son, Ashraf, shouting: ‘Sort out your daughter! She’s a slag.’
He went on: ‘He continued to further assault her, shouting, “Just kill her!”’
Reading from the victim’s statement, the prosecutor added: ‘My father began saying he would do it, a reference to kill her, as he did not want his sons to have her blood on their hands and he would do time for it. Then she began to feel very scared.’
Her father was said to have threatened to take her to Bangladesh and force her into an arranged marriage.
Miss Azad called the police but after making her statement, made it clear she did not want to take further action.
She fled to London and later claimed she could not understand her father’s heavy Bengali accent and may have misheard what he said.
The actress later gave a statement to the two suspects’ lawyer saying: ‘I dearly love my father and brother.
‘The proceedings have caused me no end of distress and if it goes ahead, it will make things much worse for me.’
Mr Vardon said steps had been taken to try to make sure she testified but it had not been possible to ensure she came to court voluntarily.
Her brother pleaded guilty to one count of assault and will be sentenced in January.
He was bailed on condition he lives at the family home, does not contact his sister and does not travel to London.
Judge Roger Thomas QC told him: ‘Violence in the home is all too prevalent. That sort of violence, domestic violence, can result, even for a man such as you, in imprisonment.’
The judge also directed not guilty verdicts be recorded on both defendants on the threat to kill charge.
He told Mr Azad senior: ‘You leave this court without any findings of guilt against you. Having said that, you are going to be bound over to keep the peace. You must make sure you act peaceably.
‘You have got to be of good and peaceable behaviour towards your daughter.
‘It is a way of the court trying to bring order and peace in general and, in particular, to you and your family.’
Miss Azad, who was born in Manchester and is of Bengali descent, attended Xaverian College in the city.
She had no formal acting training but won the part of Padma Patil when casting agents visited her school.
They invited her to attend auditions and, after several tests, she was chosen for the role.
Miss Azad has appeared in four of the five film adaptations of JK Rowling’s novels, most recently in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Her voice can also be heard on the Harry Potter video game but she has not appeared in any other films.