Apensioner who trafficked a 10-year-old deaf and mute girl into Britain, keeping her in his cellar to claim benefits, was convicted on October 15 of repeatedly raping her. Ilyas Ashar, 84, was found guilty of 13 counts of rape against the girl, who is now in her 20s, after she had been kept at the home he had shared with his wife Tallat in Eccles, Salford, and made her sleep in the “sparse, cold and damp” cellar. The jury Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester heard that the girl, who is from Pakistan, and is profoundly deaf and cannot speak, was beaten and slapped as well as being forced to work for Ashar and his family and friends in virtual slavery as a domestic servant. Details of the victim’s ordeal only emerged after she was taught sign language following her accidental discovery in 2009 by trading standards officers who had come to the couple’s house to investigate illegal activities. Ashar used his victim to satisfy his sexual desires as well as enlisting his wife to use the girl’s details to steal more than £30,000 in benefits and set up bank accounts in her name. Two female jurors wept as the verdicts were delivered against Ilyas Ashar. The judge said he was excusing the jurors of jury service for a decade after hearing traumatic evidence. He ha d been convicted earlier on two counts of trafficking and three counts relating to the fraudulent obtaining of benefits. Tallat Ashar, 68, and their daughter, Faaiza Ashar, 46, were also found guilty at the previous trial of benefit fraud charges.