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08:19 | 21st August 2017

News: UK

Tue 2 Aug, 2011
By Sam Bristowe


Ms Mathias did not receive a penny for her work nor did she have a day off work save on Sunday mornings when she was permitted to attend church

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HIV expert Rebecca Balira reportedly smuggled an African woman into Britain to use as her slave whist she also physically abused her, a court heard.

Balira, 47, who is an HIV expert and has links to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reportedly slapped punched and beat the Tanzanian Methodia Mathias who came looking for a new life in the UK.

Methodia Mathias, 21, was reportedly invited to the UK to work as a housekeeper for £96 a month and all visas and flights organized.

The jury heard that Mrs.

Balaria allegedly took Methodia’s passport away once she arrived in the UK and whilst working she slapped and punched her, made he sleep in the bed with her 12-year-old son, cut up her bra, prodded her with a wooden spoon and make her work from dawn till midnight on no pay.

Prosecutor Caroline Haughey told the court that Balira kept Ms Mathias ‘bound to her with no freedom of movement and no freedom of choice’.

She added: "She was required to get up at 5am in the morning and prepare both breakfast and lunch for Mrs Balira, then upon Mrs Balira's departure she was required to wake and tend the children, take the two eldest to school, look after the youngest, clean the house, take the youngest to nursery in the afternoon, wash the clothes by hand, collect the children, cook the evening meal for the children, and then separately for Balira.

"She would then finish the housework going to bed late into the night often 11.30 or midnight.

"During this time Ms Mathias did not receive a penny for her work nor did she have a day off work save on Sunday mornings when she was permitted to attend church."

The jury also heard that the Mathias ordeal went on for over six months until she confided in her one friend in the UK who later informed the police of the abuse.

Mrs Balira, of Thamesmead, London, has denied allegations of trafficking, holding another in servitude and two counts of assault.

The case continues.

 

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