A 'wicked and cruel' mother has been jailed for three years after forcing her two young daughters to marry their cousins in Pakistan.
The Muslim woman hoodwinked the pair, aged 14 and 15, into thinking they were going on a family holiday.
But when the schoolgirls arrived they discovered preparations were being made for them to marry their first cousins in a joint ceremony.
Yesterday, in what is being seen as a landmark case, a judge condemned the mother's actions and claimed she had been 'wholly misguided'.
She was convicted of child sex offences and attempting to pervert the course of justice as there is no current law which bans forced marriage.
Judge Clement Goldstone QC told the woman: 'Everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs and is to be encouraged to practise in accordance with those beliefs and to live a life which embraces the culture of those beliefs.
'But those who choose to live in this country and who, like you, are British subjects, must not abandon our laws in the practice of those beliefs and that culture.
'If they do, they will face the consequences.'
Manchester Crown Court heard the two sisters were forced to marry their cousins in July 2007.
After the ceremony the 39-year-old mother told her elder daughter that unless she consumated the marriage, she would 'tie her to the bed, blindfold her and strip her' and watch to make sure she had sex with her new husband.
She was arrested when her daughters confided in their teachers in February last year, after returning to the UK. Both sisters were taken into care. None of those involved in the case can be identified.
The court heard the defendant had acted to protect her family's reputation in the Muslim community after the elder girl became pregnant and had an abortion following a relationship with an older man.
Judge Goldstone told the woman: 'It seems to be the case that you did not realise that what you did was wicked.
'You probably thought then and you continue to think now that even forced marriage was in the best interests of your daughters - one of whom in any case was a handful and who was not toeing the traditional line. That is a wholly misguided view.
'Forced marriage is cruel. It deprives children, your children, of their basic human rights.
'It must be and will be distinguished by the courts from arranged marriage, which is conventional in many cultures, and in which these basic rights are preserved.'
Plans to make forced marriage a specific criminal offence were proposed in 2004 but were dropped by ministers after a backlash.
The Muslim Council of Britain opposed the plan, claiming it could lead to the Muslim community being further 'stigmatised'.
From the Daily Mail