Slave keeper called her victim to try and dissuade her from testifying – after she was forced to work 23 hours a day and beaten with a frozen chicken
- A woman tried to convince her ‘slave’ not to give evidence
- Kumuthini Kannan admitted that he tried to pervert the course of justice
- Kannan was found guilty in 2021 of keeping the victim at home
- The victim had curries thrown at her and was hit with a frozen chicken
A Melbourne woman convicted of keeping a Tamil woman as a slave called her victim ahead of her Victoria High Court trial to dissuade her from testifying.
Kumuthini Kannan was found guilty in 2021 along with her husband Kandasamy for keeping the woman in domestic slavery at their home in Glen Waverley between 2007 and 2015.
She has now admitted that she attempted to pervert the course of justice by contacting her victim to dissuade her from testifying.
The woman, now in her 70s, had said she did housework for up to 23 hours a day, looked after the couple’s children and was not allowed to go outside or mix with members of Melbourne’s Tamil community.
She was thrown tea and curries, beaten with a frozen chicken and when her son-in-law asked the Kannans to let her return to Tamil Nadu in South India, they replied ‘f*** you’.
Kumuthini Kannan (pictured) admitted she tried to pervert the course of justice when she tried to convince her victim not to testify
Kumuthini Kannan was found guilty in 2021 along with her husband Kandasamy (pictured) of keeping a woman at home
The victim said she worked up to 23 hours a day doing housework, taking care of the couple’s children and was not allowed to go out or interfere (pictured, the house where she was kept)
She was rushed to hospital in July 2015 after collapsing and suffering from untreated diabetes and sepsis.
Emergency room doctors described her as “disappearing.”
The night before the woman was due to meet with police to review statements she made at the hospital, where her servitude was exposed, Kannan called the woman’s nursing home from a payphone in a mall.
She claimed to be a translator who had worked for the courts for 14 years, repeatedly telling her not to testify for her and her husband in the upcoming trial.
“See me as a mother, trust me, do as I say,” Kannan told the frail woman who weighed just 40kg when she was found by paramedics at the family’s suburban home.
Kannan told the woman that the police would not help her and that if she listened to the police, she would never be able to leave Australia or see her daughter again.
“You stay here until you die,” Kannan told her.
Referring to herself in the third person, Kannan told the woman that she had taken her on a trip to Sydney and asked if the police had done it for her.
Police and lawyers did it for the money and to make a name for themselves, she claimed.
The enslaved woman was rushed to hospital in July 2015 after she collapsed and suffered from untreated diabetes and sepsis (pictured, the house where she was treated like a slave)
Phone records show that a call was made to the woman’s nursing home at around 8 p.m. on February 16, 2020, while CCTV places Kannan in front of a payphone in a mall connected to the number the call came from.
Kannan’s lawyer told the court that no physical threats had been made to the woman by her and accepted that while the woman was vulnerable, it stemmed from the case Kannan had already been convicted of.
Judge Martine Marich said it was to her credit that she had not hesitated and continued to assist the police.
Kannan was sentenced to eight years behind bars and sentenced to serve at least four years for the slavery crimes, while her husband is serving at least three years of a six-year prison sentence.
Kannan will be sentenced for this case next month.