London employers 'beat and raped domestic worker'

A woman brought to London to work as a nanny and domestic worker was beaten, raped and threatened at knifepoint, Croydon Crown Court heard.

The mother-of-four, 39, from Hyderabad, India, was treated as a "sexual toy or general dogsbody", the jury heard.

The victim, who cannot be named, worked in three households but was paid only about £2,300 between 2003 and 2006, the court was told.

Five people on trial deny offences, including trafficking for exploitation.

The defendants also deny charges of rape, assault and threats to kill.

The court heard that on her arrival the woman's passport was taken from her and she was made to work up to 16 hours a day for 365 days a year.

Giving evidence she said: "I wanted to make a future for my children and send them to state school."

'No peace'

The court heard that during police interviews, she said: "Just because I'm illiterate and cannot read or write, I have been treated so badly.

"They have not let me live in peace."

The victim first worked for supermarket manager Aleemuddin Mohammed, 35, and his wife, Shamina Yousuf, 33, of Edgware, north London, before moving in with shop worker Shahnaz Begum, 57, and her partner, butcher Enkarta Balapovi, 53, both from St John's Wood, north-west London, the court heard.

The 39-year-old finally worked for Shashi Obhrai, 54, and her husband Balram in Northwood.

Prosecutor Caroline Haughey said the defendants made the victim "comply with their wishes whether as a domestic worker, sexual toy or general dogsbody".

The lawyer said: "She was entitled to something in the region of £100,000 - more within the region of £150,000 - for the hours that she worked and the work that she did."

Mr Mohammed is accused of sexual assault between 2005 and 2007 and his wife Ms Yousuf is charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Ms Begum, Mr Balapovi and Mrs Obhrai are each charged with arranging or facilitating the travel of a person within the UK for exploitation.

Mr Balapovi is also charged with five counts of rape between July and October 2007.

Both Mr and Mrs Obhrai, are accused of trafficking and making threats to kill but Mr Obhrai is not standing trial due to ill health.

The hearing continues.

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