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Judge protects woman with learning disabilities

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A judge has taken action to protect a woman with learning disabilities in an arranged marriage that happened in Pakistan.

Luton Borough Council, which had responsibility for the woman, asked Mrs Justice Theis to consider issues relating to her care.

The judge heard the case at a hearing in the Court of Protection in London.

She re-imposed a forced marriage protection order made at an earlier hearing.

The judge also indicated that she wanted the marriage ended or nullified as soon as possible.

She heard the woman had taken part in a marriage ceremony about four years ago.

Mrs Justice Theis said the woman, who is in her 20s, could not be identified.

She said she would reconsider the case later in the year.

The Court of Protection hears cases where issues relating to people who might lack the mental capacity to take decisions are considered.

Earlier this week, a new law increasing the legal age of marriage to 18 came into force in England and Wales.

Previously people could get married at 16 or 17 if they had parental consent and there was no law against ceremonies for younger children which were not registered with local councils.

The new legislation also covers non-legally binding ceremonies.

The government said the changes would help protect vulnerable children from being forced into marriage.

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