Girl, 9, forced into slavery and ‘married off’ after being brought to the UK

A girl brought to the UK at the age of nine was forced into slavery, ‘married off’ three times to men she did not know and repeatedly raped, a court heard. 

She was allegedly made to cook, clean and act as a nanny for children younger than her while also being sexually assaulted by older men from Romanian communities in Slough, Sheffield, and London. 

Her ordeal is said to have continued for several years, with jurors at Reading Crown Court told her silence was secured with threats. 

Eight defendants sat in the dock as various charges against them, including rape, holding a person in slavery, and causing grievous bodily harm, were read out. All face a count of kidnap.

Madeleine Wolfe, prosecuting, said the girl was brought from Romania to the UK by Ileana Carpaci, 39, who used her as an unpaid domestic servant at the home she shared with her husband Chilimbar Vaduva, 59, and their two children. 

The court heard the girl told police she ‘was treated quite well’ to begin with but ‘over time, things changed’. 

She was banned from contacting her grandmother, who she had grown up with, and was kept home to look after younger children and clean the house instead of being sent to school, it is claimed. 

When she was eventually sent in, around a year after arriving in the UK, her chores did not ease up and the youngster would not get to bed until 2 or 3am, Ms Wolfe said. 

‘However, much worse was to come and during the time the girl stayed with the couple, Vaduva raped her from when she was 12 until she left aged 16,’ she added. 

‘A further feature of this case is that the victim was “married off” to young men in the Romanian community on three occasions. 

‘They arranged for her to marry and in return, they received money for the arrangements. However, Vaduva always found a reason for her to return to his family so that she could continue to care for the home.’

Jurors were told that in November 2020 the couple received mobile phone footage of the girl being raped by two other men. 

Ms Wolfe went on: ‘Rather than showing her concern, she was beaten by both of them and raped again by Vaduva. 

‘She managed to flee the house and headed to Slough railway station. She was pursued by Carpaci and Vaduva and she ran across train tracks to get away.’  

Police were called and the child was removed to safety and placed in care. 

But the prosecutor said 19-year-old Marius Bucur befriended her and convinced her to run away with him, helped by his parents. 

They took her to Sheffield last February and she got in their car thinking they were there to help, it is said. 

‘Unknown to the girl, Bucur’s family had plotted with Carpaci and Vaduva to keep her until she could be handed back,’ Ms Wolfe said.  

The defendants deny all charges and the trial continues.