Jailed Sussex landlady ordered to pay modern slavery victim almost £200,000
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A Worthing landlady who was jailed for holding a vulnerable woman in domestic servitude for seven years has been ordered to pay her victim almost £200,000
Farzana Kausar took control of her victim’s finances, cutting her off from her family and forcing her to cook, clean and care for her children.
In December last year she was jailed for six years and eight months having been convicted of keeping a person in slavery and attempting to pervert the course of justice.
At Lewes Crown Court on Friday, 13 October, Kausar was ordered to pay a total of £198,000 to her victim, which includes state and housing benefits she took from her, along with calculated unpaid wages during her time in servitude. An additional £7,000 was also confiscated for National Insurance payments.
The wages were calculated as a mean value had the victim been receiving the national minimum wage or national average income.
The court found Kausar has sufficient funds to pay the confiscation order in full, and was given three months to do so or face an extension to her prison sentence.
The story of the investigation - from Kausar's victim and Detective Constable Josh Bellamy
Kausar, 59, of Selden Road in Worthing, gradually trapped her victim – a vulnerable 62-year-old woman – over a period of 16 years through a campaign of physical and psychological abuse.
She would move her between properties in Sussex and London, forcing her to look after her young children, cook for the family, clean their home and complete other household chores.
Kausar would accompany her victim to all medical appointments, insisting that she was her carer and had her best wishes at heart.
Kausar also took full control of her victim’s finances, opened bank accounts in her name - from which she withdrew money - and made benefit claims on her behalf that she also kept for herself.
Her victim’s bank accounts were used to pay bills from across Kausar’s property empire and her name was used to register Kausar’s car for disabled use – allowing her to dodge road tax and park in disabled bays.
Police were alerted in May 2019, when a nanny who had been employed to support Kausar’s family noticed one of the helpers was treated differently. She was subjected to abuse, seemed to be carrying out most of the household chores and appeared to be living at the address.
She informed Adult Social Services, who reported it to Sussex Police, explain that “something didn’t feel quite right” about the situation she had witnessed.
Officers visited the address and found all of the victim’s belongings were in black bin bags, while she was forced to sleep in the children’s bedroom.
She had no access to her ID documents, passport or bank cards. These were found in a locked room, along with financial documents made out in her name related to addresses to which she had no connection.
Kausar was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences and assault and released on conditional bail while the enquiry continued.
Her victim was housed in Brighton and Hove and was supported by social services.
But shortly after, she disappeared. Her phone numbers were disconnected, she left her GP and made no contact with any support services.
She only resurfaced when the officer in charge of the case received a letter, seemingly from the victim, retracting her allegations and claiming it was all an elaborate set-up by the informant to get Kausar into trouble.
Police, alongside partner agencies, were able to trace the victim to an address in London in May, 2020.
It was revealed the letter had been written under duress. The victim had been forced to write it by Farzana Kausar in an attempt to cover up her crimes.
The hoax letter
The victim was freed for a second time and placed in safe accommodation, while Kausar was further arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice.
On Thursday, October 13, 2022, a jury took just three hours to find Kausar guilty of keeping a person in slavery/servitude and perverting the course of justice.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Josh Bellamy said: “Farzana Kausar denied her victim the most basic of human needs during 16 years of control and manipulation.
“She amassed her own personal wealth while siphoning off her victim’s benefits, using her bank accounts to pay for bills and forcing her to work in her home without payment.
“Kausar is rightly behind bars and, while her vulnerable victim lost years of her freedom and must deal with the impact for the rest of her life, I hope these financial reparations go some way to compensating her for the treatment she has suffered.
“This confiscation order should also send a clear message to offenders that we will do everything in our power to hold you fully accountable for your crimes and will use all tools at our disposal to get justice for victims.
“If you believe you, or someone you know, may be a victim of modern slavery, please contact police online or via 101, or dial 999 in an emergency.”