Evil couple who kept woman as a slave are jailed

Evil couple who kept woman as a slave and forced her to give up her newborn baby are jailed

  • A woman was kept as a slave and beaten at a home in Peterborough for years
  • Julia Rafaelova, 51, persuaded the victim to travel to the UK in October 2013
  • She took the victim’s baby away from her, beat her and forced her to work 
  • Rafaelova, her partner and her daughter have all been convicted and sentenced

An evil couple who kept a woman as a slave, forced her to give up her newborn baby and subjected her to beatings have been jailed.

A court heard that Julia Rafaelova, 51, persuaded the victim to travel to the UK from Slovakia in October 2013 after she fell pregnant during forced prostitution controlled by her.

The victim, who cannot be named, was promised a better life but discovered her family were not in the UK when she arrived.

She stayed in a home in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and slept on a mattress on the kitchen floor.

Julia Rafaelova, 51, persuaded the victim to travel to the UK before forcing her to work for her under threat of violence, taking her baby away from her at birth and taking her money from her work and benefits

She was forced to give her new baby up just hours after she was born – and the victim never even got to hold her child.

She was forced to clean the house, cook meals and even shoplift, picking up a criminal record as a result.

If she failed to do so, she was beaten by Julia or her partner Milan Nemeth, 49.

Skarletta Rafaelova, 32, Julia’s daughter, was also part of the plan, translating false information when social services attended, and making sure wages were paid into the bank account of Julia Rafaelova when the victim got a job.

Skarletta, Julia and Nemeth were all sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court today after being found guilty of a number of offences at a trial last year.

Julia Rafaelova was jailed for 10 years, while Nemeth was jailed for two years.

Skarletta Rafaelova was given a two year jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Judge Sean Enright, sentencing, described Julia Rafaelova as ‘the leading light’ of the three, saying she ‘robbed the victim of her dignity and freedom’, and said: ‘You put this girl into modern slavery, making a servant of her, as one witness put it, over a period of five years.

‘She was never kept under lock and key, but it seems she was joined at the hip to you [Julia].

‘You coerced her into giving away her baby.

‘She has never been reunited with that child.’

He added that the victim had to work under threats of violence, including hair pulling and being hit with various implements.

PC Nick Webber said: ‘Forcing a mother to give up her child to allow further financial gain is utterly despicable and a trauma the victim will never get over.’

Milan Nemeth, 49, beat the victim and tried to force her into a car when she managed to escape, but was stopped by members of the public 

The trial heard that on November 22, 2013, social services attended the victim’s address where Skarletta Rafaelova, 32, translated false information, and along with accounts from Julia the victim was forced to give the child up for adoption.

On November, 28 the victim’s child was born, knowing she was unable to keep the baby and unable to speak English the victim left the hospital the same day, returning to her exploitation.

In February 2014, the victim attended a recruitment agency with Skarletta.

She helped the victim to register with the agency, but ensured the wages were paid into a bank account belonging to Julia.

After a brief period of working for the company and a second recruitment agency, Julia decided to use the victim to claim benefits.

Julia and Skarletta completed the forms on behalf of the victim.

They claimed the victim had a serious mental health illness and forced her to go along with the scam to secure the extra benefits, as well as a carer’s allowance for Julia.

Julia and Skarletta were both present at the necessary medicals, with Julia producing documentation from a Slovakian psychiatric institution.

The victim was forced to remain silent during these consultations, and act in a manner which supported the claim that she had mental health issues.

Between April 2016 and April 2019 they successfully claimed more than £41,500 in benefits – all of which was paid into bank accounts controlled by Julia.

The victim finally managed to escape following a chance meeting with her now partner, whom she had met three years previously on a factory production line.

She was banned from speaking to him by the trio and forced to leave the site to prevent further contact.

Following her escape, Nemeth searched for the victim and tried to get her to return to the home.

On November 7, 2018, Nemeth tried to force the victim into a car but was prevented by members of the public.

In December 2018 the victim and her partner became homeless.

When seeking support with accommodation, the victim started to disclose what had happened to her and police were contacted.

Defending Julia, Nicholas Wayne said: ‘Taking a step back, it may be this is a case that shares many characteristics of a coercive control case that come before this court, distinguishing it from some of the most harrowing slavery cases where people are kept in the most horrific conditions.’

Stephen Garbett, defending Nemeth, urged Judge Enright not to pass an immediate prison sentence, saying: ‘He had little understanding of the offending.’

Khalid Khan, defending Skarletta, said her role was mainly limited to helping with translation.

He said: ‘She did not receive a penny in her account. She has responsibility for three children.’

Julia Rafaelova, of Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, was found guilty of taking a child from a person having lawful control, conspiracy to defraud, two counts of fraud and knowingly holding another person in slavery.

Milan Nemeth, also of Peterborough, was found guilty of holding a person in slavery.

Skarletta Rafaelova, of Peterborough, was found guilty of taking a child from a person having lawful control, conspiracy to defraud and holding a person in slavery.

A restraining order was also put in place, banning any of the defendants contacting the victim.

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