London

Man charged in London 'slavery' inquiry

Police officers patrol near flats in Brixton, south London Image copyright PA
Image caption Police charged Aravindan Balakrishnan with 25 offences

Police have charged a man with false imprisonment, rape and child cruelty in a suspected slavery case in London.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 74, has been charged with one count of cruelty to a person under 16, four counts of rape and 19 counts of indecent assault.

The suspected offences relate to three women. No further action is being taken regarding his wife arrested last year.

Mr Balakrishnan, who was arrested in Lambeth in November 2013, is due before Westminster magistrates on 17 December.

Anthony Connell, senior prosecutor at the Crown Prosecution Service, said there was "insufficient evidence" for the prospect of conviction relating to Mr Balakrishnan's wife, who was arrested at the same time.

The three alleged victims - a Briton in her 30s, an Irish woman in her 50s and a Malaysian woman in her 70s - had lived at an address in Brixton until October 2013.

A false imprisonment charge against Mr Balakrishnan relates to a 14-year period between January 1999 and October 2013.

The four rape charges span periods from 1980 to 1983, and the indecent assault charges cover periods from 1980 to 1992.

Another woman connected to Mr Balakrishnan, Sian Davies from west Wales, died aged 43 in 1997 at the house where they were living.

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