May 20 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
An Indian woman who claims she was trafficked into London and treated like a servant has told a court of how she was abused by one of her alleged assailants.
The woman lowered her head into a scarf at Croydon Crown Court as she described where she claims to have been asked to touch supermarket manager Aleemuddin Mohammed.
Prosecutors say the 39 year-old woman was trafficked into the UK on the promise of work as a nanny and domestic worker only to be treated like a servant and physically and sexually abused.
She claims to have been raped, assaulted, beaten and threatened at knife point that she would be killed and buried in the garden.
She had wanted to work to send money for her poverty-stricken family back in India but was allegedly passed around three households in London and abused.
Five people deny a range of offences including trafficking for exploitation, rape, assault and threats to kill.
Mohammed, 35, of Edgware, is accused of trafficking into the UK for exploitation.
It is alleged that before May 7, 2005 he helped arranged the victim’s arrival in the UK with the intent to exploit her.
He is also accused of sexual assault between May 2005 and July 2007.
On arrival in the UK her passport, her only form of identification, was taken from her, it was claimed.
The first people that she worked for were Mohammed and his wife Shamina Yousuf, 33.
The victim said she was never paid by Mohammed and her family only received around £24, which is the equivalent of what her salary would have been in India, it is alleged.
‘Buried in the garden’
At one point Yousuf threw a cup at the victim which smashed on her foot and left a visible two-inch cut, it is alleged.
She told the court she left them one night without warning.
She said: “They used to beat me up. I was just tired.
“I just left. I was wearing night clothes and I just left. I did not know where I was going. I did not think.”
The victim later moved in with shop worker Shahnaz Begum, 57, and her partner, butcher Enkarta Balapovi, 53, who are both from St John’s Wood.
She alleges that Balapovi raped her five times, a claim he denies.
The victim then went to work with the Obhrai family in Northwood where it was claimed she ate leftovers and was threatened with a knife when she wanted to complain.
She was told she would be buried in the garden and “no one would know that she was dead”, the court heard.
Yousuf, 33, a secretary of Edgware, is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm in April 2006.
Begum and Balapovi, 53, are each charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of a person within the UK for exploitation in July 2007.
Balapovi is also charged with five counts of rape between July and October 2007.
Begum, Balapovi and optician Shashi Obhrai, 54, are charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of a person within the UK for exploitation between October 2007 and March 2008.
Obhrai is also charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm between October 2007 and March 2008 and with making a threat to kill in March 2008.
All of the defendants deny the charges against them.