‘I knew they would stone me to death or sell me’: British sex slave held captive and raped nightly for 13 years reveals she finally escaped when they planned to take her to Pakistan
- ‘Anna Ruston’ penned tragic story of 13 years of abuse from taxi driver ‘Malik’
- He abducted her at 15 because he knew no-one would miss the homeless teen
- ‘Raped her, prostituted her to other men and she had four babies that he sold’
- Authorities ‘were afraid to help her for fear of being seen as discriminatory’
Anna Ruston claims that her captor branded her his ‘white s***’ and repeatedly raped her, before prostituting her out to other men and ‘selling’ the four babies she gave birth to during her ordeal.
She was forced to go to the toilet in a can in the corner of the room, and is still haunted by the smell of garlic, which reminds her of her captor.
Authorities have come in for criticism today after it emerged the woman was taken to hospital with injuries on a number of occasions, but was never left alone with doctors or nurses.
She eventually escaped after being told the family were taking her to Pakistan, where she feared she would be ‘stoned to death’ or sold.
A British sex slave has told the horrific story of how she was abducted at 15 by an Asian taxi driver and endured 13 years of horrendous abuse.
The girl had originally lived with her great-grandmother but, after the elderly woman died, she moved in with her abusive stepfather, from whose care she was later removed.
In April 1987, she met her captor – who she names only as ‘Malik’ – at a taxi rank in the Midlands. He was kind to her and took her to his house to ‘meet his parents’.
But the taxi driver then refused to take her home again and she was violently raped, starting what became more than a decade of being trapped in his house.
Her fractured relationship with her own family meant that she was not reported missing.
‘I can still see that bedroom, the corner where I would rock in pain. Although after a while I stopped feeling pain, I think my body shut down,’ she told The Daily Mirror.
In her new book Secret Slave, which she was advised to write for her own therapy, she tells how she was locked in a room and raped almost every night for 13 years before she escaped.
She explained how she was thrilled when she first fell pregnant, writing: ‘When you feel a baby move in your stomach you feel you have someone with you, you are not alone.’
Anna Ruston, whose name has been changed for her safety, penned the claims in her new book Secret Slave (pictured)
Malik would stop beating her during pregnancy, but the hope of keeping a child quickly faded when he took her first son away. Three more children were also taken away from her and given to other couples, she says for money.
Ms Ruston, now 44, also said she feels ‘let down’ by the authorities after she was repeatedly taken to hospital with nasty injuries.
She told Radio 4’s Today Programme: ‘There were always three or four people with me, so I couldn’t see an escape. I never answered the doctors I just nodded or shook my head.
‘I just wish that if someone had left the room then I could have said to the doctor: “Look, I need help, I’m being held, I need to get out”, but they never left the room. If I went to the toilet then they were outside the door.’
She has also told of her belief that people were afraid to help her for fear of being accused of discrimination.
Anna said: ‘Malik dressed me in his culture’s clothes, dyed my hair black, made me wear a scarf and keep my head down. When he spoke for me they thought it was a cultural thing. And I think people are scared to be accused of discrimination.’
She explained how she attempted to flee from the back door on one occasion, but was caught and badly beaten, making her too afraid to try and escape again.
But her determination to get away toughened when the family said they were going to take her to Pakistan.
She said: ‘Towards the end when they said they were taking me to Pakistan I knew that it was either kill myself or get out because I knew that I wasn’t going to go to a wedding and I knew that they would probably stone me to death or sell me.’
Her story has chilling echoes of the case of the shocking case of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was held captive in an underground bunker for 28 years by her father Josef (pictured)
She is now too scared to report her captor to the police, even though officers have told her another girl will come forward with similar allegations if she makes a statement.
Ms Ruston even tried to choke herself with a scarf but, at the height of her depression, it was a health visitor who came to see her because she weighed just six stone who saved her.
Slavery chief says ‘alarm bells should have been ringing’
The UK’s Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner has branded the Ms Ruston’s case ‘alarming’.
He told the Today Programme: ‘For somebody to go into a premises and see a young girl in a different nationality household with four young children that have been born, there should have been alarm bells ringing there.’
He said legislation now meant authorities had a legal responsibility to report suspicions and nurses are now being trained to spot the warning signs of slavery.
Ms Ruston found the courage to slip her a piece of paper begging for help at a time when she knew the family would be busy with Muslim festival Eid.
The health visitor handed one back promising to wait outside and ring the house phone three times.
When she heard the phone, she ran for help and fortune was on her side as the key had unusually been left in the front door while the family were busy with prayers.
Since then, she has rebuilt her life with the childhood flame that she had dated when she was a teenager and thought of constantly during her captivity.
He was pleased to see her when they bumped into each other, but it took years for her to tell him the truth about what had really happened to her.
The couple now live together with her four children and she has been free for 16 years, but she will always wonder what happened to the four that were taken away from her.
Her story has chilling echoes of the shocking case of Elisabeth Fritzl, who was held captive in an underground bunker in Austria for 28 years by her father Josef.
Elisabeth had seven children while raised in the dungeon in Austria in a case that sent shockwaves around the world, but it had already happened to Anna here in Britain.
And worryingly, Ms Ruston, whose name has been altered for her safety, says it ‘could be happening on any street’ in the UK.’
Josef Fritzl, Ariel Castro and Phillip Garrido are three of the world’s most notorious kidnappers who have held their victims captive for decades.
In Britain, businessman Ilyas Ashar, 84, and his wife Tallat, 68, were jailed for holding a deaf and mute child from Pakistan in captivity in their cellar.
Ashar sexually abused and beat the youngster who he brought to Salford, Greater Manchester, from Pakistan in June 2000 when she was aged just 10.
She was also used to steal more than £30,000 in benefits.
The girl never went to school in Pakistan or Britain, but was taught by the Ashars to sign her name to claim benefits.
Ilyas Ashar repeatedly raped a deaf and mute girl he trafficked into the UK from Pakistan to work as his domestic servant. He kept the girl in his basement
Ashar would routinely rape the girl in the cellar and other houses the family owned – though she would try to fight him off.
He was jailed for 13 years, while his wife was given five years in prison.
In London Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, known to his ‘disciples’ as Comrade Bala, was jailed for 23 years after being found guilty at Southwark Crown Court of raping two of his followers and keeping daughter prisoner.
Balakrishnan, who will be 87 if he is released halfway through his sentence, brainwashed cult members into thinking he had God-like powers and could read their minds, and subjected them to decades of abuse, running the commune with an iron fist.
The most notorious kidnapper was Austrian father Josef Fritzl who was arrested five years ago after holding his daughter Elisabeth as a sex slave in a concealed basement for 24 years.
Elisabeth Fritzl was rescued in Austria emerged just two years after Natascha Kampusch escaped after being held captive for eight years.
Miss Kampusch vanished on her way to school in Vienna in 1998 when she was ten.
Wolfgang Priklopil carved a secret, sound-proof cellar beneath his home in a suburb of the city in which to keep her captive for eight years.
In the US, Ariel Castro held three women in captivity for years before they got out in May this year.
Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight, were rescued from the property in Cleveland, Ohio, after being kidnapped between 2002 and 2004.
Also in the US, Phillip Garrido held Jaycee Lee Dugard in captivity for 18 years before she was released in 2009.
Garrido and his wife Nancy snatched 11-year-old Jaycee from a street in South Lake Tahoe in June 1991 while on her way to school.
She was held captive in a compound behind their home in Antioch, California house where Garrido repeatedly raped and drugged her. During her captivity, Dugard gave birth to two daughters fathered by Garrido.
Miss Dugard received $20million (£12.5million) from the state of California and Garrido was later sentenced to 431 years in prison while his wife Nancy was given 36 years.