Sisters lied about being victims of ‘honour-related’ violence at the hands of their father to get a free three-bedroom town hall they never lived in
- Hannah Rafiq, 29, and Ayshia Rafiq, 30, lied about ‘honour-related’ violence
- Kirklees Council granted them council housing for a period of four years
- The sisters never lived in the three-bedroom property and have now apologized
Two sisters have admitted lying about being victims of ‘honour-related’ domestic violence in order to rip off a municipality from a three-bedroom house they’ve never lived in.
Hannah Rafiq, 29, and Ayshia Rafiq, 30, told Kirklees Council that their father beat them and they were homeless and in desperate need of refuge, despite having a place to live with their mother in Huddersfield.
They have now publicly apologized for “robbing a family in real need” of a house in Batley that they kept for four years.
Faced with the threat of prison, they said in a statement: “Neither I nor my sister or brother lived in the house in Batley, and I accept that I shouldn’t have said it was our only or most important house.
‘During this time we stayed in the family home in Huddersfield owned by our mother.
“I am deeply sorry for the damage our actions have caused by robbing a family in real need of housing by making a three-bedroom house unavailable for four years.”
Hannah Rafiq, 29, and Ayshia Rafiq, 30, told Kirklees Council that their father beat them and they were homeless and in desperate need of refuge, despite having a place to live with their mother in Huddersfield. Pictured, the three bedroom house they got
The scam started in 2013 when they applied for a house from the council and told the authorities that their mother was asking them to move.
Five months later, they reappeared as homeless and victims of honour-related violence at the hands of their father.
In a statement, Kirklees Council said: “They reapplied as homeless saying they were dealing with ‘honour-related’ domestic violence from their father and shortly afterwards they were given a three-bedroom house in Batley.”
However, neighbors and residents became suspicious when the house was empty and the municipality gave a tip.
An investigation was launched and it was soon determined that the women lived with their mother in the family home.
But even when questioned, the sisters continued their web of deceit, lying to city officials about their use of the home during a five-day court hearing on the property warrant brought about by the council in 2017.
They made false statements on the witness stand, prompting the council to sue for contempt of court.
These were to be heard in the High Court in Leeds on 24 May this year, a hearing that would last four days, at a huge cost to the council.
An investigation was launched and it was soon determined that the women lived with their mother in the family home. Pictured, Batley’s Town Hall
Now the sisters have confessed to their deception and apologized, something that has been accepted by the court, ending legal action and the threat of jail time.
Hannah Rafiq has already paid thousands of pounds in legal fees to the council.
A future court hearing will decide whether the sisters will have to pay further costs.
Naz Parkar, Service Director for Homes and Neighborhoods at Kirklees Council, said: “Social housing exists to address a need in our communities to provide shelter for the most vulnerable and needy.
“The deception of these sisters has meant that a property cannot house a family in need for four years.
“The Rafiq sisters admit to their cheating and have come to know the consequences of their dishonesty and realize they were close to jail time.
“I would like to commend our investigative team, who work tirelessly to ensure that our homes are occupied by genuine plaintiffs.
“I would also like to thank the people who brought their concerns to our attention.”
None of the sisters or their mother wanted to comment when approached by ExaminerLive at the family home.