independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Irish slave willingly joined the 'collective'

THE Irish woman who was dramatically rescued from three decades of domestic servitude in London was the victim of a failed cult-type organisation led by a couple of African and Indian origin.

The woman, who is now 57, is believed to have met the couple shortly after she moved to London in her 20s. British police revealed yesterday that she and another woman joined a political "collective" led by the two suspects.

The "collective" failed but the two women stayed with the suspects, who over time are suspected of brainwashing and beating them to remain with them.

The third woman held captive, who is 30, was born into the collective. Police have so far refused to comment on speculation that she is the daughter of the Irish woman.

In a statement, police said: "We believe she has lived with the suspects and the other victims all her life, but of course at this early stage we are still seeking out evidence."

They revealed that the women would only agree to be rescued on condition that no immediate action would be taken against the suspects.

The latest revelations emerged as police carried out door-to-door inquiries in the area where the three women were allegedly held as slaves for 30 years. Two policemen stood outside a house on Peckford Place on the Angell Estate near Brixton, South London, but there was still no official confirmation that this was where the women were held.

Police earlier disclosed that the "suspects" are of "Indian and Tanzanian origin and came to the UK in the Sixties.

They said: "We believe two of the victims met the male suspect in London through a shared political ideology, and that they lived together at an address that you could effectively call a 'collective'."

British police have not disclosed the Irish woman's identity. Gardai have not been asked for assistance.

There was speculation among garda sources that the Irish woman is originally from Co Armagh and studied at a third-level institution in Dublin before moving to the UK, but this could not be confirmed last night.

- Maeve Sheehan

Sunday Independent

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