A 14-year-old girl was forced to marry a man 20 years her senior in a Melbourne mosque, a court has heard.
In video footage of the ceremony, the young teenager can be seen dressed in a light-blue headscarf in a tiny room hidden at the back of the suburban mosque as she waits in silence to be married to a man she has reportedly known for just a few days.
The ceremony took place last September but the film has come to light amid a dramatic increase in reports of forced underage marriages in Australia in the past few years.
Mohammad Shakir, now 35, sobbed in court as he pleaded guilty to going through a formal ceremony of marriage with a person not of marriageable age at Noble Park mosque last September.
Australian network 7 News obtained the footage and reported the young bride was handed over for marriage by her parents in return for a AUD$1480 gold necklace.
The child’s mother watches on as the ceremony takes place, with the man conducting the ceremony asking the…