A Romanian girl brought to the UK when she was 9 was forced into slavery, ‘married off’ three times to men she did not know and repeatedly raped, a British court heard.
The girl was allegedly made to cook, clean and act as a nanny for children younger than her. She was also sexually assaulted by older men from Romanian communities in Slough, Sheffield, and London, Metro.co.uk reported. Friday
Her ordeal is said to have continued for several years. Reading Crown Court was told she was silenced by threats.
Eight defendants face charges of rape, holding a person in slavery, and causing grievous bodily harm, were read out. They all face a count of kidnap.
All eight deny wrongdoing.
Prosecutor Madeleine Wolfe said the girl was brought from Romania to the UK by a 39-year-old woman who used her as an unpaid domestic servant at the home she shared with her husband and their two children.
She was banned from contacting her grandmother, who she had grown up with. She was kept home to look after younger children and clean the house instead of going to school, it was claimed.
She began going to school a year after arriving in Britain, but still had to do household chores. She was raped by the woman’s husband from when she was 12 until she left aged 16,’ she added.
She was also “married off” to young men in the Romanian community on three occasions.
‘They arranged for her to marry and in return, they received money for the arrangements. However, the man always found a reason for her to return to his family so that she could continue to care for the home.’
‘She managed to flee the house and headed to Slough railway station. She was pursued by two captors and she ran across train tracks to get away.’
Police were called and the child was removed to safety and placed in care.
But the prosecutor said a 19-year-old Romanian man befriended her and convinced her to run away with him, helped by his parents.
She was taken to Sheffield last February where she got in their car thinking they were there to help, it is said.
But the man’s family had plotted to keep her and hand her back. There were no further details available about how she had managed to finally escape.