Indian woman kept as slave by 3 families in the UK

Indian woman kept as slave by 3 families in the UK
Published: 2013 April 20 23:24:02 (12046 Views)
A 40-year-old Indian woman, apparently illiterate, was beaten, raped and given out-of-date food and passed between three middle-class families as a slave for many years in Britain.

The woman made desperate pleas for help to Hertfordshire police as well as charities and other state agencies.

But when police officers spoke to her, one of her "powerful and well-connected abusers" was used as an interpreter, Independent reported.

The woman was handed back to her "slave master", and she was again attacked and threatened that she would be buried in the back garden of the man's luxury home for ruining his family name.

Three people — an optician, a butcher and a secretary — were convicted of her abuse that spanned more than three years.

The woman was passed between the families, kept like a prisoner, given virtually no money and had her passport confiscated, the report said.



However, when she fled, her pleas went ignored by police and other organisations on at least 12 occasions, according to court documents.

The woman's ordeal ended only after she was taken in by a migrant workers' charity and human rights' group Liberty took up her case.

"Various state agencies failed her, ignoring her repeated pleas for help, not adhering to their own investigative practice and it could be said ignoring the obvious," Caroline Haughey, counsel for the prosecution, told the Croydon crown court.

The woman came to Britain in 2005 to try to make a better life and to send money to her family in India's Hyderabad city.

When she sought help, she was threatened by her keepers. In one case, a professional interpreter told police that the woman was "telling a lot of lies — it's common in her country", the court heard.

The victim, who was not named for legal reasons, has been left in a wheelchair in part because of the injuries sustained at the hands of her abusers.



Source - TOI

Tags: slavery,
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