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A retired doctor held a slave in her suburban home for four years, a court was told yesterday.
Saeeda Khan, 68, is accused of making Mwanahanisi Mruke work up to 24 hours a day cleaning, cooking and gardening.
‘Sometimes, we would wave and nod at her just to be polite. ‘But it’s a very quiet area and nobody round here really knows their neighbours very well.’ Slave trading has been outlawed in Britain since the 19th century.
However, the UK remains a major destination for trafficked women.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in jail.
Khan was bailed to appear before the court next month.
Khan and her late husband, who was also a doctor, allegedly paid Miss Mruke just £10 a month – a low salary even in Tanzania, the African country they brought her to Britain from in 2006.
Miss Mruke, 46, had all her calls monitored and was not allowed to leave the £500,000 home in Harrow, North West London, without Khan, Westminster magistrates heard.
‘She lived in extremely poor conditions for a number of years,’ prosecutor Malachy Pakenham told the hearing.
Scotland Yard detectives started investigating the case in February following a tip-off.
Officers from the Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command, known as SCD9, were involved.