A DRIVING instructor convicted of controlling behaviour towards his Pakistani bride of an arranged marriage was starting an 18 weeks jail term on Tuesday.

Tanveer Ghani, 58, of Bryn Trewan, Caergeiliog, Holyhead, Anglesey, also received a five-year restraining order at Llandudno court banning contact with Farzana Kauser, 20 years his junior. They had married in 2015 in Pakistan but she did not come to Britain until the summer of last year because of visa delays and spent three months at his home before fleeing to relatives.

District judge Gwyn Jones said the offence, which Ghani denied, happened behind closed doors within the family home which his wife regarded as a “prison.” She had been isolated from her own family and “significant psychological harm” caused.

Judge Jones declared :”It was an unhealthy and unbalanced relationship which sapped the freewill of your wife, making her feel worthless.”

The judge said she had been subjected to emotional and financial abuse, including the ritual of "weigh-ins and measurements" because of his constant demands about her weight.

Prosecutor Jo Maxwell said Iona Roberts had given evidence about his controlling behaviour towards her. "How do you feel now knowing that the two women who have loved you felt they were going to die as a result of your actions?" Miss Maxwell had asked Ghani during a three-day trial.

He replied :"I did nothing to either one of them."

But, sentencing him, the judge said the case showed “history repeating itself again.”

Matthew Curtis, defending, said there were 20 references for Ghani, a grandfather, including from clients in which he was described as “polite, caring, patient, compassionate and pleasant.” But he’d lost about 30 customers because of the case and was awaiting a decision about whether he could continue in business.

Mr Curtis added that the victim wasn’t locked in or subjected to violence.

Giving evidence in Urdu with the help of an interpreter during the trial his wife had said that sometimes she was so hungry, because he controlled her eating, that when he left the house she would devour food that Ghani had thrown in a bin. There would be Sunday weigh-ins.

Ghani told the court he was born in Lahore, came to this country as a teenager and became a driving instructor in 1993. After his partner of 30 years, Iona Roberts, left him his sister-in-law persuaded him to re-marry. "She said 'this girl is very honest, loyal and guaranteed spot-on," he recalled. "I suddenly got calls from Farzana". In September 2015 they were married in Pakistan.

He added : "This was a love marriage so far as I was concerned. I never put any restriction on her food, never shouted, called her names or raised my voice. We got on great and she could go out any time and leave the house. I had no idea whether she monitored her weight and never put her on scales or measured her waist.

"She would peck me on the cheek when I came through the door from work.

"As far as I was concerned everything was working out. But when she put too much spice in the food I suggested she should stay with my sister and reduce her spice. She would send me text messages rather than say anything to my face."

He went on : "We would talk about our future together. I was hoping to have a bungalow which would be our own home. She showed no signs of being unhappy. She wanted to be my soul mate and that was what I wanted."

But Miss Maxwell read abusive text messages Ghani had sent to his wife while she was still in Pakistan, in one of which he'd called her fat and lazy. In another he'd said "just divorce now, I do not want you." Ghani replied that he could not remember this.

Miss Maxwell read a reply in which Miss Kauser had written : "Honey, I will lose weight, I'm doing my

best but please do not punish me."

If he had ever called her "a fat cow," he maintained, it was when they were having a laugh.