The face of Rosie ‘the slave’: Woman held for three decades is named and pictured as police probe mystery death fall of ‘mother’
- Identity revealed after police said ‘no evidence’ she was sexually abused
- Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife Chanda, 67, ran Maoist sect
- Malaysian woman claims that eldest ‘captive’ is her sister Aishah Mautum
- Accused captors ‘were jailed for assaulting a Met officer’ in 1978
- Woman who may have been Rosie’s mother died ‘mysteriously’
- Sian Davies, 44, fell out of a window at a property in Herne Hill, 1997
- Cousin describes ‘Bala’ as a ‘toothless old man’ and not ‘charismatic leader’
This is Rosie Davies, the woman said to have been kept as a slave for three decades by a couple who ran a Maoist sect recruiting young women.
The Mail can reveal her identity after police confirmed there is no evidence she was sexually abused.
It also emerged last night that a woman who may have been 30-year-old Rosie’s mother died in mysterious circumstances at a property where the alleged captors previously lived with two other ‘slaves’.
This is Rosie Davies, the woman said to have been kept as a slave for three decades by a couple who ran a Maoist sect recruiting young women
Sian Davies, 44, fell out of a window at a property where Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife Chanda, 67, lived in Herne Hill, South London in 1997.
Sian Davies – who is thought to be Rosie’s mother – is understood to have lived in the commune for more than 20 years
Last night detectives were examining inquest reports into her death in October 1997.
Rosie has told neighbours that her mother died and she was adopted by the suspects.
But the identity of her mother and circumstances of her death remain unclear. One neighbour who remembered the family living in Herne Hill said an older woman had died falling out of a window there.
She said: ‘One day the police came and told me an older woman living in that house had died falling out of a window at the back.
‘They asked if I had seen anything.
‘I said no and they never got back to me.’ Sian Davies, who was living with the family at the time of her death in 1997, is known to have joined the Maoist communist collective that Balakrishnan ran.
In 1978, she was one of six young militant women arrested when police raided their headquarters in a bookshop in Brixton.
A local newspaper report of the case reveals the group’s extremist views as the women chanted slogans calling for the ‘downfall of fascist Britain’ throughout their trial.
The shocked judge in the case, Judge Hayan said he had never come across such bigotry during the proceedings.
The Mail can reveal her identity after police confirmed there is no evidence she was sexually abused
It also emerged last night that a woman who may have been 30-year-old Rosie’s mother died in mysterious circumstances at a property where the alleged captors previously lived with two other ‘slaves’
All six refused to enter pleas on 13 charges of obstructing or assaulting the police saying they ‘did not recognise the court, the judge of the jury system’.
The women also refused to let police search the Brixton property for drugs and chanted ‘Death to the fascist state.’
One of the communists, Aishe Waham then 34, read a prepared statement saying that the British were the lackeys of the Americans.
The report went on: ‘At the end of her speech the six chanted together with upraised right arms and clenched fists.
‘They said they were political prisoners facing trumped up charges.’
Yesterday it emerged that Balakrishnan, and his wife, originally from India and Tanzania, were well known to the police and security services.
Described as a ‘guru’, the economics graduate was said to be a powerful figure who had a tight-knit band of devoted female followers under his ‘spell’, most of whom were persuaded to give up their studies in order to ‘integrate with the working class’ and carry out ‘revolutionary work’.
Known as ‘Comrade Bala’, he came to police attention after setting up a communist squat, the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, in Brixton in 1976 where the couple ran their group, the Workers’ Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tse Tung Thought, holding lectures and film evenings.
Two years earlier, he had been kicked out of the Communist Party’s national executive after his faction ‘attempted to put themselves above the discipline of the party’.
By the time of the Brixton riots in 1981 their organisation had gone underground where it remained for more than 30 years.
Police believe that Balakrishnan brainwashed two collective members, an 57-year-old Irish woman and a 69-year-old Malaysian woman who later became his slaves, along with Rosie Davies.
The couple were arrested last week, following the rescue of the three women from the flat in Brixton.
Neighbours revealed they were occasionally invited into the maisonette, but they never saw the Irish woman.
Letters sent to Marius Feneck from Rosie – one of the three women held captive in Brixton
Investigation: Police stand guard at the property in Brixton, south London, and are following many lines of inquiry including links to 13 addresses across London
Shut down: The property at the centre of the slavery case was boarded up as police still guarded it, but officials have refused to say why
Jesse Paddy, 64, said he had visited the ‘family’ a number of times and the youngest alleged slave even knitted a jumper for him.
The couple arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and immigration offences have been released on bail until a date in January.
Lambeth Council has come under pressure to explain their contact with the couple as local councillors claim social services, education and housing departments all had contact with them.
Kind gift: Alleged prisoner Rosie knitted neighbour Jesse Paddy a jumper, who said he did not know anything about alleged slavery in the property
Note: Rosie, 30, gave this warm handwritten message to with the garment earlier this year for Mr Paddy
A Lambeth Council spokesman said: ‘Lambeth Council worked closely with the police in the weeks leading up to the three women leaving the house and continues to do everything to assist with the police investigation.
‘This is an extremely complex case involving a number of individuals going back decades.
‘It is too early at this stage to provide the detail of any contact we may have had with them.’
Maoist Slavery suspect is a ‘toothless old man’ not a ‘charismatic’ leader, claims cousin of sect member who died
Accusations: Eleri Morgan has told ITV News her cousin Sian Davies lived within the collective led by slavery suspect Aravindan Balakrishnan, who she described as a ‘toothless old man’
Slavery suspect Aravindan Balakrishnan was more of a ‘toothless old man’ than a ‘charismatic’ figure, according to the cousin of a woman who lived in his London commune for more than 20 years.
Eleri Morgan claims her cousin Sian Davies died after in 1997 after mysteriously falling out of a bathroom window in the house the group were living in in Brixton. Ms Davies was kept in hospital for seven months after the fall, but her family claim they were not told.
She had been jailed three times for her activism before she died, it was revealed today.
Ms Morgan said Ms Davies wrote home talking of how she was looking after the ‘mothers of the world’ but was not allowed to see her cousin. Her letters always spoke of ‘comrade Bala’ – the name that Balakrishnan was referred to.
Ms Morgan met Balakrishnan at the inquest into her cousin’s death.
She told ITV News: ‘I had such a shock because I imagined somebody charismatic and there was this toothless old man – well looked old.’
A senior council source confirmed that Balakrishnan and his wife Chanda were arrested last week by police amid allegations that they held three women for more than 30 years. It is claimed they were leaders of an extremist Maoist collective.
The alleged victims – a 30-year-old Briton, a 57-year-old Irishwoman and a 69-year-old Malaysian – are believed to have suffered years of ‘physical and mental abuse’ at the hands of the pair.
House-to-house inquiries have been carried out in Peckford Place in Brixton where the three women were found. Police have confirmed that there are ongoing inquiries relating to a total of 13 addresses, all in London, linked to the couple.
The couple, aged 73 and 67, are believed to have been well-known to the police in the 1970s after setting up a communist squat, the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, in Acre Lane, Brixton in 1976.
Ms Morgan recalled that her cousin had a boyfriend called Martin. She told ITV News: ‘She was outgoing, we went clubbing in our younger days, enjoyed the good life, and next time I saw her she was in the morgue.
‘I picked up the paper and oh my God, Bala and it all came back to me… In the paper it implied they were all foreign students, but earlier they weren’t all foreign. I know of Martin and Sian – what he did to our family he did to others.’
This site in Brixton was once the headquarters of the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre – which housed a communist collective run by the slavery case suspects – reportedly Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his wife Chanda, 67
Balakrishnan was a former member of the national executive committee of the Communist party of England (Marxist-Leninist) but documents show he was suspended from the party in 1974 for pursuing ‘conspiratorial and splittist activities’.
Documents also show how in 1978 police raided the Mao Zedong Memorial Centre, arresting 14 members of the organisation, including Aravindan Balakrishnan and wife Chanda, referred to as Comrade Chanda.
A source at Lambeth Council said the couple were believed to have been in the property for around 10 years after moving there from a council property, and concerns had previously been raised with police about the education of the youngest woman.
Scotland Yard would not comment on the claims, but previously said two of the victims met the male suspect through a ‘shared political ideology’, living with him at an address that was effectively called a ‘collective’.