A MAN was kept as a ‘prisoner’ and had a jump lead attached to his nose, was beaten and told he would be buried alive by relatives, a court has heard.

Ghalib Hussain was allegedly subjected to a three-year campaign of cruelty and violence by his uncle and three cousins who labelled him “mentally sick”, “a clown” and “a mental case”.

Burnley Crown Court heard he was subjected to regular punishments after he was effectively left “stranded” at the family home in Accrington, when his arranged marriage collapsed.

When he was spotted in the street by a passer-by, who offered to take him home, he clung to a lamp post in a bid to avoid it.

Pakistani national Mr Hussain - an epilepsy sufferer who could not read, write or speak English - suffered injuries including a broken hip, during the three years.

Nek Alam, 72, and his sons, Mr Hussain’s cousins, Janghir Alam, 29, Zahir Alam, 33, and Zahoor Alam, 32, all of Richmond Hill Street, Accrington, deny causing grievous bodily harm with intent, making a threat to kill, false imprisonment and putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.

The court was told that Mr Hussain had been found in Accrington by the police. He had clung to a lamp post when officers had asked him if they could take him home.

Jeremy Lasker, prosecuting, said Mr Hussain came to this country in about 2006 as a result of an arranged marriage to Nek Alam's daughter, Sofia.

She later effectively rejected him and the alleged victim, the crown suggested, was left stranded and alone in the Alam household.

Mr Lasker said: “Ghalib Hussain, the crown say, because of his problems, was unable to work in order to pay his way.

"As a consequence of that, the financial burden for his care and upkeep fell upon the rest of his family. The crown say it's against this particular background that Ghalib Hussain was ill-treated and assaulted on a regular and continuing basis by his uncle and cousins.”

The prosecutor said the beatings appeared, for the most part, to have been some form of punishment because the alleged victim had not done something or because the defendants thought he had done something wrong.

Mr Lasker said that on June 26, 2010, Mr Hussain had been attacked and suffered a broken hip.

He said Mr Hussain had been forced to the ground and Zahir and Zahoor Alam then put their weight on him and jumped on his leg. Janghir Alam hit him with his belt.

Mr Lasker said: “The crown say he was made, while on the floor, to kiss Nek Alam's feet while he was in a punishment position and told he would be buried alive in a cemetery and have his tongue ripped out.

”It was said that Zahir Alam took out a pair of jump leads and attached one end to his nose, while the other end was to hit him on the palm of the hands.

”The Crown say that if Ghalib Hussain is telling the truth then this was a joint assault with all four joining in and acting together.”

The father and sons were later arrested. Mr Lasker said: “These four defendants deny any of this cruel and violent behaviour which the crown say took place."