A wealthy landlady who physically and verbally abused a vulnerable woman she kept as a “house slave” was jailed.
Farzana Kausar, 58, of Worthing, hired the 62-year-old woman and then took control of every aspect of her life.
Lewes Crown Court heard Jacqueline Whittington was forced to work 14 hour days, cooking, cleaning and looking after Kausar’s three young children.
Yesterday Kausar, of Selden Road, was sentenced to six years and eight months after being found guilty of holding a person in slavery and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Judge Christine Laing KC said: “No judgment I can make can undo the damage done to Jacqueline Whittington, restore her relationship with her own family, or restore the years and years that she was deprived of her freedom to live life their own way.”
She said the victim was a vulnerable woman who clearly had difficulties with alcohol and had a strained relationship with her own family.
READ ALSO: ‘I Was About To Kill Myself’ – Woman Held As A Slave For Over A Decade
Judge Laing said: “They took advantage of that vulnerability and completely conceitedly disregarded her as a person. You exercised more and more control over her.
“They regularly subjected her to physical violence, slapping, punching and pinching, and pulling and kicking her hair.”
Judge Laing said the treatment provided by Kausar caused Ms Whittington to “consider suicide”.
“Your life was destroyed, and you played a major part in it,” she said.
The court heard that Kausar was a wealthy woman who owned several properties in Brighton and London, which she let to tenants.
A longtime alcoholic, Ms Whittington had left her husband and four children in the 1990s.
She first met Kausar around 2004 when she was living in a flat in Worthing owned by the defendant’s mother.
Mrs Whittington was asked to do some work for the family and was taken to London to decorate a house.
But while she was there, Kausar told her that she didn’t want to go back to the Worthing flat and would be put up in London instead.
Shortly thereafter she moved in with Kausar, her husband Mohammed Hanif and their little daughter Isla.
Ms Whittington had no employment contract and although Kausar promised to pay her for her work, she was never paid.
Kausar, who sent her daughter to the exclusive £14,000-a-year Roedean girls’ school, took Ms Whittington’s achievements from her, despite regularly buying her cigarettes and alcohol.
Over the years, the court heard, she claimed around £80,000 worth of benefits from Ms Whittington.
Ryan Richter, prosecutor, said the violence began when Kausar threw a recycling box at her for leaving some cooked meat in the kitchen.
Ms Whittington told police that while she did have a mobile phone, it had often been confiscated from the defendant and that Kausar was working to isolate her from any contacts or friends.
When her mother died, she didn’t find out until weeks later that the funeral had already taken place.
Mr. Richter told the court: “Ms. Kausar would tell her that she couldn’t stand it for a minute if she went out on her own and said to her, ‘At least you have a roof over your head with me.’
“Miss Whittington was verbally abused and physically hit, punched, kicked and punched and dragged across the table. A car door closed on her ankle, breaking it.”
The alarm was raised by the family’s nanny, Michelle Ormiston, after witnessing the “shocking” treatment of the live-in helper.
Both social services and the police were alerted and Ms Whittington was removed from the home.
Modern slavery laws were only introduced in 2015 in response to the growing need for legislation.
Judge Laing said that although the indictment covered only four years because of parliamentary legislation, she could not overlook the fact that the scrutiny began “many years ago”.
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23208025.farzana-kausar-worthing-jailed-modern-slavery/?ref=rss Farzana Kausar of Worthing jailed for modern slavery