Alleged Vic slave 'shut out at 3am'

·2-min read

A woman allegedly held as a slave by a Melbourne couple for eight years says she was sent out of the house alone once to buy yoghurt at 3am.

A Mount Waverley husband and wife, who cannot be named, are standing trial in Victoria's Supreme Court accused of possessing the Tamil woman, now in her 60s, as a slave between 2007 and 2015.

Through an interpreter the woman, who speaks no English, told investigators the wife gave her $50 and shut her out of the house when the family was short on yoghurt for the children's school lunches.

The woman said she didn't know how to get to the shops or how to speak to anyone so she sat outside the house.

"She asked me why I am sitting there, so I said that once daylight comes I will go and get it, I can't go now," she said.

"I was scared."

But she said the woman pulled her back inside the house and began stamping on her legs and kicking her.

The alleged altercation in the early hours drew the attention of the husband, who the woman said questioned what was happening.

"But she won't listen to anyone, she was still kicking me and she was hitting me - and I think about all these things now, it's hurting me," the woman told investigators in October 2015.

"(The wife) said 'just mind your own business' and she hit me and hit me."

She said after another incident in which the wife cut her arm with a knife, the husband questioned what she was doing.

"He said to her like 'if you keep doing like this, the police will come and get you'," the woman said.

"And then (the wife) said 'no-one can do anything to me'."

The woman told investigators that the wife had poured tea in her eyes, thrown curries at her, hit her over the head with a frozen chicken and only allowed her to bathe once a week.

The woman collapsed in the family's home in July 2015 and was taken to hospital by ambulance in an emaciated condition suffering sepsis.

"If I had not had ... this issue then, you know - you wouldn't have found out either. She wouldn't have let me go," the woman said.

Investigators questioned how the woman's life had changed since first moving in with the family in 2007.

"I'm somebody else," she replied.

The couple have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Their trial is continuing.