Point Cook Couple Faces Charges of Modern-Day Slavery, Allegedly Kept Victim in Domestic Servitude | Melbourne Magistrates Court Case
A Point Cook man, 44, and a woman, 29, are set to appear before the Melbourne Magistrates Court today, facing charges related to modern-day slavery. The charges stem from allegations that the couple kept a female victim in domestic servitude at their Point Cook residence between January and October 2022.
The investigation into the case was initiated by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in October 2022, following a report from a concerned healthcare partner. The report highlighted indicators of human trafficking exhibited by a woman, prompting the authorities to take action.
As a result of the ongoing inquiries, the AFP executed search warrants at the couple’s Point Cook home on October 27, 2022. Following a comprehensive investigation, on November 17, 2022, the Point Cook man was charged with two offenses: possessing a slave and using coercion and threats to cause another person to enter into and remain in servitude. Both offenses are in violation of subsections 270.3(1)(a) and 270.5(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) respectively.
On April 4, 2023, an additional charge was brought against the man, accusing him of exercising control over a slave, as outlined in subsection 270.3(1) of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth). On the same day, the 29-year-old woman was summoned and charged with the same three offences.
Authorities allege that the couple exercised coercive control over the female victim, subjecting her to physical assaults and manipulating her movements. The seriousness of the charges is emphasized by the fact that, if convicted, each defendant could face a maximum penalty of 25 years’ imprisonment.
Detective Superintendent Simone Butcher of the AFP emphasized the importance of community involvement in combating human trafficking. The AFP actively engages in education programs to raise awareness among first responders, healthcare professionals, and the general public about the indicators of human trafficking and slavery.
“Everyone can play a role in stopping human trafficking,” Detective Superintendent Butcher stated. She encouraged individuals who suspect human trafficking or come across suspicious activities to report them promptly. The timely reporting of such cases is crucial, as it ensures that victims receive the necessary support and assistance they need to escape such heinous circumstances.
The case serves as a reminder that vigilance and community involvement are pivotal in identifying and addressing instances of human trafficking, helping to protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation and abuse.