Melbourne: In a shocking case of exploitation, a Melbourne couple was found guilty of keeping an Indian woman as a slave in their home for eight years. Kumuthini Kannan, 53, and her husband Kandasamy, 57, were found guilty in April of keeping the Tamil woman inside their Mount Waverley home as a working prisoner. The couple has beens sentenced to prison.
It’s the first time an Australian court has heard a case entirely about domestic servitude slavery, and it’s the country’s longest period of enslavement, according to prosecutors.
Kumuthini must serve at least four years of her eight-year maximum sentence while Kandasamy must serve at least three years of his six-year term, the Guardian reported. It also quoted Justice John Champion told the Victoria supreme court saying, “No one has expressed any sense of regret or sorrow – it’s a fairly remarkable absence of humanity.”
The victim, a Tamilian woman, led a life of great financial hardship in India, according to media reports. She was widowed young and left to raise her family of four children alone. She came to Australia twice to live with the Kannans in 2002 and 2004 before returning again on a one-month tourist visa in 2007, the Guardian further reported. And since then she was forced to toil endlessly for the couple and their three children. The couple also apparently ignored the victim’s family’s plea back in India to return her to them.
The woman’s deplorable state was revealed in July 2015, when she was discovered in a pool of urine and weighing only 40 kg. She had sepsis, uncontrolled diabetes, and was missing teeth. And for all the cooking, cleaning and caring for the kids, the victim was paid less than $4 a day.
(With Agency inputs)