Melbourne couple found guilty of keeping woman as a slave


A Melbourne couple found guilty of keeping an Indian woman as a slave in their south-eastern suburbs home for eight years has been identified after a suppression order was lifted.The married couple, who had previously only been known by their pseudonyms "KK and KK" due to a court-issued suppression order, have been revealed as Kumuthini Kannan and Kandasamy Kannan.Wife Kumuthini Kannan was seen sobbing on her husband's shoulder as the jury delivered its verdict at the Supreme Court of Victoria today, finding the couple guilty of intentionally possessing a slave.They were also found guilty of intentionally exercising over a slave any of the powers attaching to the right of ownership.The couple hid a 66-year-old grandmother from India inside their Mount Waverley home, paying her just $3 a day to be at their beck and call 24/7.The grandmother travelled from India to Australia to stay with the Kannan's at their family home in July 2007.The court heard the victim thought she was coming to Melbourne to care for the couple's children, but she was instead stripped of her human rights and trapped in a suburban prison.She told investigators how Mrs Kannan would punish her if she did not obey orders.  "She will take a frozen chicken, and hit my head," the court heard."If I go and sleep then she will come and pour hot water on me."Her captors would also lock her inside the home when they went on holidays for weeks at a time.The victim's family contacted police when the couple refused to send her back to India.By the time authorities discovered the woman, she was emaciated, suffering sepsis and diabetes and had lost all her teeth. The couple claimed the victim had made up the whole ordeal, but the jury found they were lying. The husband and wife are facing decades behind bars, but they have been allowed to remain on bail, so they can make arrangements for their three children who all have autism.They will be required to be locked down at home, except for when attending medical appointments and buying groceries.The Kannan's will face their sentencing hearing in June.


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