Jan 29, 2016

Aravindan Balakrishnan: Maoist cult leader jailed for raping followers and imprisoning daughter

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ITV News

January 29, 2016

A Maoist cult leader has been jailed for raping his followers and keeping his daughter prisoner for 30 years.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, carried out a brutal campaign of violence and sexual degradation against women over several decades in his secretive commune in south London.

He will likely die behind bars after being handed a 23-year prison sentence.

Here's what we know about the case.

·         'Comrade Bala'

Aravindan Balakrishnan convinced his victims he possessed "all-powerful and all-seeing" God-like powers.

The grey-haired pensioner also invented a supernatural force known as "Jackie" who, he said, could trigger natural disasters if his orders were ignored.

He idolised Chairman Mao, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein and wanted to be "bigger than all of them".

After fathering a daughter with one of his followers, he kept her prisoner for her entire life until she was 30.

She managed to raise the alarm in late 2013 after escaping from a house in Peckford Place, Brixton.

A two-year police investigation ensued which eventually led to Balakrishnan's conviction.

·         His crimes

After a trial at Southwark Crown Court, Balakrishnan was convicted of:

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6 counts of indecent assault

4 counts of rape

2 assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH), cruelty to children and false imprisonment

 

·         His daughter

Katy Morgan-Davies, 33, was born into her father's cult and spent her until life - until she escaped his clutches - entirely isolated from the outside world.

She was banned from singing nursery rhymes, going to school and interacting with other children.

Remarkably, she was never told that Balakrishnan was her father or that another member of the cult, Sian Davies was her mother.

Ms Davies died in a fall from a window at the house they shared.

Her death is still shrouded in mystery.

Ms Morgan-Davies has bravely waived her right to anonymity to speak out about the years of psychological and physical bullying she endured at her father's hands.

She said she finally has a "voice" now that she is free, telling ITV News' Penny Marshall: “I was like a caged bird with clipped wings. Now I am learning to fly.”

·         Judge's comments

Sentencing him, Judge Deborah Taylor said:

You were ruthless in your exploitation of them.

You engendered a climate of fear, jealousy and competition for your approval.

These are grave and serious crimes conducted over a long period of time and you have shown no remorse whatsoever.

– JUDGE DEBORAH TAYLOR

http://www.itv.com/news/2016-01-29/aravindan-balakrishnan-maoist-cult-leader-jailed-for-raping-followers-and-imprisoning-daughter/

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