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Melbourne judge slams couple who kept Tamil woman as a slave for ‘absence of humanity’ during pre-sentence hearing


A judge has slammed the “remarkable lack of humanity” in a Melbourne couple who had been convicted for preserving a susceptible woman as a slave and by no means apologised.

Kumuthini Kannan and her husband Kandasamy had been convicted by a jury in April of preserving and utilizing the Tamil woman as a slave, forcing her to prepare dinner, clear and take care of their youngsters of their Mount Waverley residence for eight years, between 2007 and 2015.


The woman got here to Melbourne twice to work for the household earlier than returning on a one-month vacationer visa in 2007. She was kept by the couple, working as much as 23 hours a day for eight years, till she collapsed in July 2015.


She was taken to hospital in a severe situation, weighing 40kg and struggling sepsis and untreated diabetes.

Khandasamy (left) and Kumuthini Kannan arrive to the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne.
Khandasamy (left) and Kumuthini Kannan arrive to the Supreme Court of Victoria in Melbourne. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

In a pre-sentence hearing on Wednesday, Supreme Court Justice John Champion stated it was “bewildering” that the couple, earlier described as “charitable” and “giving” folks, had by no means apologised to the woman.

He stated they’d proven a “distinct lack of care” for the woman they’d used as a slave.

“They must have been aware she was probably days away from dying and it’s never been conveyed that ‘we were sorry’,” Champion instructed the courtroom.

“No one has expressed any sense of regret or sorrow. It’s a fairly remarkable absence of humanity.”

Champion stated he was successfully giving the couple’s barristers the chance to do that.

Kandasamy Kannan’s barrister John Kelly SC stated their “reluctance” was certain up in considerations that any expression of remorse would stand as an admission of legal responsibility or culpability and will affect a potential enchantment.

Kumuthini Kannan’s barrister Gideon Boas earlier stated his consumer was a deeply spiritual individual, described in references as a caring, giving, charitable and valued member of the Tamil neighborhood in Australia, India and Sri Lanka.

He stated “even in the most dire of circumstances she finds herself in” she was nonetheless cooking and delivering meals to aged folks in the neighborhood all through Victoria’s coronavirus lockdowns.

Khandasamy (left) and Kumuthini Kannan arrives at the Supreme Court of Victoria.
Khandasamy (left) and Kumuthini Kannan arrives on the Supreme Court of Victoria. Credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

The couple’s sufferer, who can’t be recognized, was malnourished, struggling untreated medical circumstances and in a “dreadful” state when taken to hospital by ambulance in July 2015.

Boas stated the couple was not accountable for inflicting these medical circumstances.

But Champion instructed one other means to take a look at it was that there had been a “wholesale neglect” of her well being.

“She was fading away. And in medical language that means only one thing,” he stated.

The woman, in her 60s, has been unable to return to her household in Tamil Nadu, in southern India, and now lives in a nursing residence in Melbourne.

Kelly stated greater than 20 folks had offered references for Kandasamy Kannan, a father-of-three, whom he argued could be extremely unlikely to re-offend.

Both Kumuthini and Kandasamy Kannan are on bail, having been accused earlier this 12 months of having “placed a gun to the court’s head” to safe their launch.

Neither they nor their attorneys had made preparations for the care of the couple’s three susceptible youngsters.

Champion condemned them for creating an unimaginable state of affairs.

The hearing continues.

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