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Rediff.com  » News » Man gets 11-year jail term for rape of Indian woman in UK

Man gets 11-year jail term for rape of Indian woman in UK

May 17, 2013 18:37 IST

A 54-year-old butcher has been jailed for 11 years for raping an Indian woman who was treated like a "slave" at his home in London. The victim, a 39-year-old mother of four from Hyderabad, was employed in three London households as a nanny and domestic worker.

Her passport was taken away from her after she reached the United Kingdom in 2005 to earn money for her poor family back in Hyderabad and she was made to work up to 16 hours every day. Enkarta Balapovi, a butcher, was convicted of five counts of rape last month and was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Thursday.

Another employer, wealthy optician Shashi Obhrai, was also convicted of abusing the Indian woman, burning her with an iron and dragging her by the hair down the stairs. "Mrs Obhrai had this victim in her house as a slave to do work 16-20 hours a day. When the victim objected she was beaten with a rolling pin and had boiling water thrown over her," said Metropolitan Police detective inspector Kevin Hyland.

The victim finally managed to escape and seek help from the Hertfordshire police but was sent back to her tormentor. The police force is now likely to face legal action. The mother of four eventually escaped again and contacted refuge charities and in May last year, Met police officers charged three of her former employers with a series of abuse offences dating back nearly eight years.

Obhrai, 54, has received a 20-month suspended sentence in order to carry out community work. Judge Shani Barnes spared her a jail term because she is the primary carer of her terminally ill millionaire husband Balram Obhrai, 59.

Another co-accused, Shamina Yousef, 44, who employed the victim for two and half years, was also given 40 hours of community work for assault. Scotland Yard has been commended for its investigation into all three employers, who targeted the victim because she was uneducated, vulnerable and didn’t speak English.

In a statement to the court, the victim, who has been given compassionate leave to stay in the UK for five years, said: "They have made my life hell. I have suffered with depression and sleepless nights for a very long time.

"I have to take medication so that I can get some sleep. They have treated me so badly that I worry at night that they will come for me. These people are dangerous they have ruined my life and kept me away from my children. Each should be punished for their wrongdoings."

Aditi Khanna in London
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