Maoist Sect Leader Threatened To Kill His Daughter For Having A Crush On Ken Livingstone, Court Told

The leader of a Maoist sect threatened his daughter with death after she revealed she had a crush on former mayor of London Ken Livingstone, a court has heard.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, known as Comrade Bala, convinced his cult that he was God-like and could read their minds, jurors were told.

He cowed his followers and daughter into submission by inventing a mythical entity known as Jackie who could read their thoughts and kill them, London’s Southwark Crown Court heard.

Aravindan Balakrishnan allegedly threatened his daughter with death because she had a crush on Ken Livingstone

Prosecutor Rosina Cottage QC said Bala told his daughter to tell him straight away if she ever dreamt about someone else, according to a report by the Press Association.

But when she confessed her feelings towards the left-wing Labour politician, her father said she was “getting flu because she was being unfaithful” and that Jackie was preparing to execute her.

Cottage told the court that Balakrishnan told his daughter when she was about 13 that she should not "dream about someone else" and that if she did she should inform him immediately so that "he could protect her from having crushes".

"So, she told him that she had a crush on Ken Livingstone. She thought that if she wrote it down in a nice way then he would be nice and understand.

"After that she came down with the flu and he said that Jackie was preparing to execute her for going against the defendant and having a crush on Ken.

"He said that she was getting flu because she was being unfaithful to him, the centre of the world."

Balakrishnan, of Enfield, north London, denies seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape against two women during the 1970s and 1980s.

He also denies three counts of ABH, cruelty to a child under 16 and false imprisonment.

None of his alleged victims can be named for legal reasons.

In another incident, Balakrishnan beat his daughter, and no windows in the house were opened for three years after she had a sexual affair with a neighbour, it is alleged.

In August 2005 the commune moved to a property on the Angel estate in Brixton, south London, when Balakrishnan's daughter developed feelings for a neighbour, Marius Feneck, who she called her "angel", the court heard.

Cottage said: "She developed a consuming passion for him. She wrote him a poem calling him her angel. She started to find opportunities to try to talk to him."

She sent him photos she had secretly taken of herself and then wrote to him, inviting him to come to her house, jurors heard, and later he sneaked in by climbing through her window. The pair was then said to have had secret trysts.

On one occasion, when the man took his cousin over to hers for group sex, they were discovered because his mobile phone rang.

Balakrishnan rushed in and beat his daughter, threatened to "burn her on the spot”" and have her committed to a mental hospital, it is claimed.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone

Cottage said: "It was as though she had betrayed a husband."

The shouting went on for five hours and she believes she miscarried a child following the beating, jurors heard.

Cottage went on: "After that date the windows were locked and she was banned from seeing him again. She was told that they would kill him if he ever came back."

Depressed and isolated, she began self-harming, the jury was told.

The woman had no further contact with Feneck, but when Balakrishnan heard the neighbour had been standing near their home on Christmas Day 2008, he violently attacked his daughter, the court heard.

Cottage said: "He told her that he had to hurt her, otherwise she would not listen.

"He was protecting her from AB’s Jackie who would kill her if she did not listen to him."

On the rare occasion she dared to voice dissent, he would beat her, jurors were told.

Cottage said: "He was the law, he was the police and the authority. He said that if she informed on him, the whole of the 'Old World’' would blow up."

Driven to despair, the woman, then aged 22, plucked up the courage to run away and leave in May 2005. However, after going to a police station for help she was sent back to her father, jurors heard.

Cottage told the court that the daughter left home "intending never to go back".

Cottage said: "It was scary because she had never before been out on her own. She never learnt to cross a road. Never learnt any of the things we take completely for granted."

Balakrishnan's daughter arrived at a police station and spoke to a woman called Donna, but did not tell her of the violence and only said she was running away because of the oppression.

As it was a Bank Holiday and there was nowhere for the woman to go, Balakrishnan was called, and came to pick her up.

Balakrishnan later slapped his daughter and branded her a "police agent" and "traitor", jurors heard.

She finally managed the escape from the commune eight years later, in 2013.

In the years in between she became ill with suspected diabetes, but she was not allowed to see a doctor and told she would get better if she worshipped Comrade Bala, it is claimed.

With the help of one of the women in the commune and the Freedom Charity, she escaped on October 23, 2013.

Cottage said her time as effectively a prisoner in her own home had left deep scars.

She said: "By the time she left, aged 30, she'd never been to school or other educational establishment, had never played outside as a child or gone out with friends as a teenager or an adult, she had never had a bank or other account, had no national insurance number, she had never had her own key.

"Apart from being registered at birth and with a GP at birth - which lapsed due to returned mail, she was not registered anywhere. Not known to anyone.

"This defendant had secured from her birth absolute control over her movements and every aspect of her life until the time she left 30 years later.

"He had secured that, we say, through violence, through threats and through neglect. She had no childhood to speak of.

"By the time she was 16 she was inured to a solitary life dictated by the defendant in the collective. She had no freedom of movement. And we say he falsely imprisoned her."