Man pleads guilty to ‘marrying’ 14-year-old girl amid spate of underage girls forced to become child brides

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…

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