UK
30/11/2013 11:27 GMT

Family Tells Of Concern For 'Slavery' Case Woman Who Died in 1997

'Slavery' case woman Sian Davies, who died in 1997
PA
'Slavery' case woman Sian Davies, who died in 1997

The cousin of a woman who lived in a Maoist commune being investigated for alleged slavery have spoken about the death of Sian Davies in 1997 after she mysteriously fell out of a bathroom window at the house where the group were living in Brixton, south London.

Ms Davies was kept in hospital for seven months after the fall, but her family claim they were not told.

Her cousin, Emyr Morgan, said her mother and his sister spoke to her over the telephone when she was in the commune.

He told the BBC: "My sister said it felt as if it was a very stunted conversation and that every answer was almost being thought through as if to say 'am I OK to say this'.

"It always felt during the phone conversations that they had that there was somebody else listening to her because it wasn't a natural conversation. There were all these pauses - it was like a transatlantic phone call."

Members of the group wrongly claimed Ms Davies was in India when she was in hospital, Mr Morgan said.

He described her joining the commune as the equivalent of "disappearing off the face of the Earth".

When asked if the family considered trying to help her, Mr Morgan replied: "We did, but the question is: what can you actually do? She's over 18, she never wrote a letter or phone-called and said 'help me'.

"She said: 'I'm living this new life. You are no longer part of this life. Don't try and contact me. I'll let you know that I'm OK'.

"So it was actually very difficult to see whether she was in any danger at all."

According to reports Ms Davies was the mother of 30-year-old Rosie Davies, one of the three women who contacted staff from the Freedom Charity last month and eventually left the house where they said they were being held.

Earlier in the week the first pictures of suspects and alleged victims in the case were released.