A WIFE forced to work on a sewing machine by her mother-in-law despite being heavily pregnant felt like she lived in a prison, a court heard.

Nagina Akhtar also alleged she was hit by Nasbbah Bibi on several occasions for answering back and refusing to carry out chores at her house in Pringle Street, Blackburn.

Preston Crown Court has been told Nagina arrived at Bibi’s home from Pakistan in 1993 after her aunt Bibi, 63, arranged for her to marry one of her sons, who was also her first cousin.

Speaking through an Urdu translator, Nagina told Preston Crown Court that Bibi had said to her father she would not need educating but would need to learn to sew before she came to England in order to make clothes for the family.

She would sometimes work for 15 hours a day at her machine earning just £200 a month, she told the jury.

Mother-of-three Nagina, who is now living in Yorkshire with no contact with Bibi, confirmed that her mother-in-law had slapped her while she was pregnant and in front of her young daughter following an argument where she wished her husband dead.

On another occasion Nagina said she was slapped by Bibi after she refused to get on her hands and knees to clean vomit from a carpet.

She said she had almost been hit with a brush. In her police statement Nagina said:” I was frightened.

"I literally lived in a prison rather than a house.”

“I was so frightened I used to do exactly as I was told.”

However, Nagina told the court that she wanted to retract the whole of the statement that she had given to police as while some of her statements were true, some were lies.

She told the court she had made the statement because she was worried her father-in-law would try to take her children from her.

Bibi has denied the false imprisonment of her three daughter-in-laws, Tazeem, Nagina and Nisbah on dates between 1993 and 2007.

Her son, Nadeem Akhtar, 31, also of Pringle Street, denies falsely imprisoning his wife Nisbah and assaulting her.