A UK family has been jailed for enslaving a Polish maid who was kept isolated and prevented from contacting her family for five years.
Enfield resident Izabela Dytlow, 47, was sentenced to nine years after being convicted on three counts of holding a person in servitude and on four counts of fraud by false representation.
Andrzej Kasparowicz, 63, was also sentenced to nine years for enslavement, fraud and money laundering.
They were jailed at Reading Crown Court on Friday after a seven-week trial.
The victim was in her 40s and came from a poor family in Poland. She was enticed by the promise of work as a paid carer for Dytlow.
She worked for the family at addresses in Birmingham and Enfield and was made to sleep in unsanitary conditions in a garden shed and under a blanket on the floor.
She was also barred from using her phone and her Polish identification card was taken from her.
Neighbours raised the alarm after seeing her cleaning the family cars in the rain.
Initially, Dytlow told investigating officers that the victim did not live at the address and was visiting an aunt.
After initially denying she was being imprisoned, the victim told officers it was like a “dream” to be free.
“The prosecution case included testimony from many of the neighbours who witnessed the victim being mistreated and raised the alarm, as well as the victim herself who gave a harrowing account of her experiences with the family – of how she had travelled from Poland to the UK in search of a better life only to be trapped into a life of misery,” said Patricia Strobino, prosecutor within the Crown Prosecution Service London Complex Casework unit.
“The convictions in this case are a testament to the victim’s courage and those neighbours who did not allow the unacceptable treatment of another go unchecked.
“This victim now has the opportunity to begin to realise her dreams for a life in the UK. The CPS will always work closely with our law enforcement partners to make sure those who exploit vulnerable victims are taken to court and brought to justice.”