Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

Read more

Europe

UK conviction for modern-day slavery

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-03-17

A former hospital director who forced an African woman to work 18 hours per day day became the first person in Britain to be convicted of "modern-day slavery."

AFP - A former hospital director who forced an African woman to work 18 hours a day became the first person in Britain to be convicted of "modern-day slavery."

Saeeda Khan, 68, was forced to pay 49-year-old Mwanahamisi Mruke, who was trafficked from Tanzania in 2006, 25,000 pounds (40,000 dollars, 28,750 euros).

She was spared a prison sentence, but Rivlin said that this was due to her own ill health and the fact she has two adult disabled children.

"You could easily have afforded to pay her a reasonable sum by way of wages," said judge Geoffrey Rivlin during sentencing at London's Southwark Crown Court.

"You chose to give her virtually nothing.

"Your own behaviour was callous and greedy," the judge added.

Mruke was initially paid 10 pounds per week, but this allowance was stopped within a year.

Khan, who was found guilty of trafficking a person into the UK for exploitation, forbade Mruke from leaving the house in Harrow, north west London, and fed her two slices of bread a day.

The court had heard how Mruke was brought to Britain after working at a hospital in Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania, which Khan owned.

Khan promised to pay Mruke 50 pounds a week and said she would only have to work six hours a day.

"I felt like a fool, I was treated like a slave," Mruke, who was saving up to help her daughter through college, said.

"I was hoping I would receive a salary and improve my life. But my hopes were dashed, my strength was reduced and I became unwell."

Rivlin said Khan had told a "pack of lies" during the trial and had taken advantage of her "naive and illiterate" victim.

Mruke told the court that she would wake up at 0600 GMT and then clean, garden, cook and go for walks with Khan's sons before finally being allowed to sleep on a mattress in the kitchen at around midnight.

"I feel that justice should be passed and others should learn from this. I feel terrible about her," Mruke said.

Mruke's plight only came to light when she was allowed to visit a doctor over her varicose veins.

Mruke's parents both died during her three-year ordeal, but she was allowed no contact with her family in Tanzania.

Earlier, prosecutor Caroline Haughey told Southwark Crown Court: "From the moment of her arrival in England Mwanamisi was made to sleep, work and live in conditions that fall by any understanding into that of slavery."

Date created : 2011-03-17

COMMENT(S)