A pregnant Polish woman enslaved by a Romanian father and son has finally found justice. Ioan Berlan, 47, and Reni Parczewski, 25, were taken to jail after they kept her in their house as a domestic slave giving her foods inedible by humans. The woman was held captive from last December until this February in Tottenham and forced to work all day long.
The father and son threatened her that she would face grave consequences if she failed to keep the home spotless. As a matter of fact, right after the day she had a miscarriage she was forced back to work as they humiliated her for being of no use since they could not receive child benefits from the government.
Andrew Frymann, prosecuting, said: 'She was a vulnerable woman as she hadn't been very well. Knowing of the medical difficulties because they took her to the hospital, she was still told to wash the floor and clean and a day later had to go back to normal cleaning duties.'
'She was told to clean the floor, wash the dishes. She was forced to work in the house as a servant.'
'She was told if she didn't clean the house, there would be consequences, grave consequences.'
According to the victim's statement, Mr. Frymann told the court that she was treated as a 'toy' and called her a 'whore.'
The victim reported that she wasn't allow to go anywhere. She said: ' I was their servant. I came to the conclusion that I will either run away or be a servant for the rest of my life.'
Judge Peter Testar at Southwark Crown Court said: 'It sounds to me like Cinderella, though that's a rather simple summary.'
Both the father and the son have admitted holding a person in slavery and servitude and that they made the teenager work for up to 12 hours a day from 9am till 9pm.
Mr.Frymann said that the 19-year old victim came to the UK looking for employment with high hopes of improving her life in London, but ended up scrubbing the one-bedroom flat for 12 hours a day.
Although the victim was told that she would get £40 a day and that she could live with Berlin and his wife without any rent, she was literally penniless when she met Mr.Frymann.
Mr.Frymann said that the pair offered the victim a job at Magic Hand Car Wash in Edmonton where she received £35 per day. However, she was forced to quit her job after a miscarriage.
In a police interview, the victim said:
'A day earlier when I noticed that I am bleeding and Max knew that I am miscarrying, that I am in the process of miscarrying, he told me to wash the floor and clean. A day or two [after the miscarriage] I had to go back to normal cleaning duties. I was ordered to clean the house regardless of whether I was well or unwell. I was used to clean and play a role of a servant for everybody.
The 25-year old Parczewski often threatened to take the teenager to Birmingham to work as a prostitute in a brothel. According to the police reports, he wanted beat her up after her miscarriage since he was hoping to receive benefits from her child.
Parczewski has been sentenced to jail for three years and his father for 20 months – a longer term for the son because he threatened to take the victim to a brothel for prostitution.
Judge Testar said:
'For a 19-year-old woman one thousand miles away from her home, her native land, and unable to speak the language of the country where she found herself this must have been humiliating and terrifying. No case where this offence is committed is likely to be trivial or meaningless. This work was burdensome to the extent that what was required of her and the way that it was required of her are accepted to amount to servitude. An incident of this is that when at the beginning of the time that she spent under the defendants she miscarried. She was not allowed any significant time to recover but was expected simply to carry on.'
Furthermore, he added: 'The food that she, and her partner, was given to eat was described—according to the Polish meaning of the word—as food for animals and not for human beings.
'This reflected her status.'