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Australian couple convicted of enslaving Indian grandmother for 8 years

Kumuthini and Kandasamy Kannan were sentenced to prison for subjecting a 66-year-old woman to slavery in Melbourne. Getty Images

  • A husband and wife will spend six and eight years respectively in prison for enslaving a grandmother from 2007 to 2015.

  • The victim is from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and has spent much of his life raising his family in poverty.

  • She told the court that she had been repeatedly beaten, poured hot water and had her wrists cut.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

A husband and wife in Melbourne who enslaved and abused a vulnerable and malnourished Tamil grandmother for eight years have been sentenced to jail, Australian media reported.

Kumuthini Kannan and her husband Kandasamy were convicted in April of intentionally possessing the woman as a slave from 2007 to 2015, forcing her to cook and clean for them while paying her around $ 2 a day.

Victoria Supreme Court Justice John Champion sentenced the couple on Wednesday, PerthNow reported. He ordered Kumuthini to spend eight years behind bars while sentencing Kandasamy to six years in prison.

Local media reported that the anonymous victim was a 66-year-old woman who was found malnourished at the couple’s home in 2015. She weighed just over 88 pounds at the time and suffered from untreated diabetes and sepsis. .

She told the court that the couple repeatedly beat her and poured hot water on her.

“She’ll take a frozen chicken and hit me on the head,” the woman said during her testimony, according to News 9. “If I’m going to sleep, then she’ll come and pour me hot water.”

The grandmother had four children but was widowed at a young age, spending much of her life in poverty and menial jobs in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She lived with the Kannans for six straight months in 2002 and 2004, before returning to Australia in 2007 on a one-month short-term visa to live with them again.

She believed she was going to Melbourne to care for the couple’s three children, but was instead subjected to slavery in the Kannan house, 9News reported.

Judge Champion said on Wednesday that the Kannans had shown no sense of remorse for their actions and had shown a “rather remarkable lack of humanity,” according to PerthNow.

Throughout their trial, the couple denied keeping the woman as a slave, even after receiving a guilty verdict.

But Judge Champion said slavery may be more subtle than the “ingrained images of rows of men chained to the oars of the galley or of men, women and children working in the bonded fields,” adding that the couple had committed a crime against humanity. , Australian news site reported.

“To use or possess a person in a state of slavery is repugnant, degrading the human condition and a flagrant violation of human rights,” he said.

He also criticized the Immigration Department for failing to verify the victim’s expired short-term visa and for being “missing”, Perth Now reported.

The victim is currently living in a retirement home, having been sent there when he was discharged from the hospital in October 2015, according to the local news site.

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