Ex-doctor accused of keeping woman as slave

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The Independent Online

A retired doctor accused of trafficking an African woman into the UK and keeping her as her servant for four years appeared in court today.

Saeeda Khan, 68, allegedly paid Mwanahamisi Mruke just £10 a month to do round-the-clock chores such as cooking, cleaning and gardening, at her £500,000 suburban home.

The former health care worker is alleged to have purposefully exploited the Tanzanian national, 46, after bringing her into the country in 2006.

Bespectacled Ms Khan, of Whitmore Road, Harrow, north west London, is believed to be one of the first people to be charged with modern day slavery.

She appeared at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court today after pleading not guilty to trafficking Miss Mruke into the UK for exploitation at a hearing in September.

The defendant, who wore a head scarf and was allowed to sit in the dock due to her chronic arthritis, spoke only to confirm her name.

Deputy chief magistrate Daphne Wickham committed the case to Southwark Crown Court for a trial on December 1.

Ms Khan was released on conditional bail.

Suspected victim Miss Mruke was rescued by Metropolitan Police officers in February this year after they received a tip-off from a charity dealing with people trafficking.