A woman allegedly kept as a slave in Melbourne before being discovered in her own urine weighing 40kg told police she had to ‘obey’ and wasn’t able to rest.
A woman allegedly kept as a slave in Melbourne before being discovered in her own urine weighing 40kg told police she had to ‘obey’ and wasn’t able to rest.

‘Slave’ says she only slept an hour a night

A woman allegedly kept as a slave in Melbourne for eight years claims she only slept an hour a night, felt helpless and survived on tea and rice, a court heard.

She detailed the allegations in a recorded interview from a hospital bed that was aired in Victoria's Supreme Court on Friday.

A Mount Waverley couple, who cannot be named, are fighting charges of intentionally possessing a slave and intentionally exercising the right of ownership over a slave between 2007 and 2015.

"What can I do, helpless," the alleged victim said through an interpreter in the recording.

"I came here for money, so I have to obey and do whatever I was told to do."

A woman accused of keeping a slave in Melbourne for eight years leaves Victoria’s Supreme Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling
A woman accused of keeping a slave in Melbourne for eight years leaves Victoria’s Supreme Court. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ David Crosling

She said in the recording her family in India was sent some money but she never received a salary from the pair.

The woman also said she only slept for "one hour" and wasn't able to rest.

"No rest, I could not even sit," she said.

The woman said the couple would leave for an overseas trip every year and lock her in the house, the court heard.

If she ran out of food when the couple and their children were away she said she would drink tea and cook rice.

The woman, who is now in her 60s, said her son-in-law made the arrangement with the couple that she would be paid to look after their children when she came to Australia in 2007.

The woman claimed the husband (pictured) and wife locked her in their house for a month while they went overseas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty
The woman claimed the husband (pictured) and wife locked her in their house for a month while they went overseas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / David Geraghty

She had been to Australia twice before and was returned home before she was allegedly enslaved on her third trip.

The court heard her situation was uncovered when the woman was rushed to hospital in a serious condition in July 2015.

The couple accused of keeping a woman as a slave. Source:Facebook
The couple accused of keeping a woman as a slave. Source:Facebook

She had sepsis, weighed 40kg and her temperature was just 28.5C.

Prosecutors allege the couple had such a level of control over the woman's rights and freedoms that it amounted to slavery.

The court heard they allegedly controlled her right to communicate with others, freedom of movement and her rights to healthcare and payment for work.

But lawyers for the pair have denied the allegations.

The trial in front of Justice John Champion continues.

Originally published as 'Slave' says she only slept an hour a night


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