A CAT charity boss who enslaved an elderly woman, forced her to sleep outside and to eat pet food is facing jail. Maria Miller, 64, first invited the
A CAT charity boss who enslaved an elderly woman, forced her to sleep outside and to eat pet food is facing jail.
Miller then forced the woman to perform menial chores in her home and shop and beg on the streets for money, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
Police investigating the case found lavish spending by Miller, including a room stuffed full of designer clothes and bottles of champagne.
The victim was often locked out at night and forced to go to the bathroom in the garden.
On many occasions she was so hungry she resorted to eating cat and dog food
On many occasions she was so hungry she resorted to eating cat and dog food.
Miller befriended the pensioner who was a volunteer at the cat orphanage she ran.
The victim, who cannot be named, did not realise she was being exploited and thought she was helping her friend care for the animals.
The exploitation came to light after the pensioner ran away for the third time and asked a friend for help, who contacted social services.
When police searched Miller’s home, they found a will which showed the victim had left everything to her.
Miller denied but was convicted of two counts of holding in slavery and servitude and one count of theft.
She was cleared of one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm.
Miller will return for sentence at the same court on 31 July.
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Richard Heatley, from CPS London North, said: “This was an appalling case of modern slavery where a kind and vulnerable woman was manipulated and exploited for a number of years.
“The victim thought she was helping her friend with chores and charity work but in actual fact she was being exploited in the most appalling way.
“Miller denied any wrongdoing and said that she had taken control of the victim’s finances because otherwise the victim would hand her money out to strangers she just met”.
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