Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Woman kept as ‘slave’ for eight years

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MELBOURNE: In a shocking incident, an Indian woman was allegedly kept as a slave for eight years in a Melbourne house where she was found in a pool of her own urine.

According to the details, the woman was held as a slave by a couple in a squalid corner of a suburban home for eight years, a court has heard.

She had a temperature of just 28.5C and was suffering from sepsis when she was rushed to hospital in a serious condition in July 2015.

Traumatised and with serious medical conditions, she spent more than two months in hospital recovering – and for much of that time nobody knew her real identity.

The husband and wife, whose home she was found at, are accused of intentionally possessing the woman as a slave between July 2007 and July 2015, Mail Online reported.

A trial for the couple began in Victoria’s Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutor Richard Maidment QC said the woman twice came to Melbourne from her home in Tamil Nadu, in southern India, to care for the couple’s three children before returning in 2007.

Eight years later, paramedics found her to be emaciated, weighing just 40kg and suffering from sepsis and untreated type-two diabetes.

The woman called the paramedics after finding the woman collapsed in their Mount Waverley home, and told the operator that she only knew the woman’s first name.

She said the woman had come to stay with them, but left a number of times after receiving calls from unknown people.

The woman also didn’t tell the truth, later telling authorities she was still under the couple’s influence and control, and that she was fearful of being illegally in Australia. Her visa expired in August 2007, and her passport in 2011.

Maidment said it’s alleged the husband and wife seriously interfered with her fundamental rights and freedoms, including her ability to leave their home, communicate with others and access healthcare.

The jury heard the woman’s son-in-law had arranged for her to work for the family – under the impression she would be paid.

In the early days she would be allowed to speak on the phone with her son-in-law and daughter two or three times a year, but from about 2012 contact slowed to almost nothing, Mr Maidment said.

When her daughter sent an email to the couple asking for her mother to be sent back to India she received abuses.

Her family in India then contacted Australian authorities who launched an investigation.

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