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Video footage of slavery suspects and victims shows Irish woman in 1997

The Irish woman, Josephine Herivel, is the daughter of a World War II code-breaker, according to reports this morning.

ITV News claims this is 'Josephine' in 1997. She is now 57 years old.
ITV News claims this is 'Josephine' in 1997. She is now 57 years old.
Image: ITV News/Screengrab

ITV NEWS HAS broadcast video footage purportedly showing the suspects and victims at the heart of the domestic servitude case in London.

The images were obtained from a 1997 documentary which examined the suspicious circumstances of the death of a British woman. Sian Davies died after falling from a window in the Maoist group’s Brixton house and there are suggestions that the youngest woman rescued last week is her daughter.

The pictures show suspects Aravindan Balakrishnan and Comrade Chanda outside the inquest into the commune member.


Chanda, now 67, pictured in a wheelchair in 1997. (Image: ITV News)

There is also footage of women at the door of the group’s home. The broadcaster reported that two of the women are those at the centre of the investigation.

The Irish woman in the video has been identifed as Armagh native Josephine Herivel by British media. It is believed that she is the well-educated daughter of mathematician John Herivel who was a World War II code-breaker for the British army.

The Daily Telegraph reports that he was part of the Bletchley Park team that cracked the German Enigma ciphers in 1940. The newspaper says Josephine has two sisters who she grew up with in Belfast but was estranged in the 1970s after moving to London for study, getting caught up in the commune.

Obituaries for her father mention only two daughters, Mary and Susan.

The second woman, a 67-year-old Malaysian called Aishah Waham, also appears in the video.


Image: ITV News

According to press reports from 1978, both women were arrested during a raid on the Brixton property.

It emerged this week that the two suspects, 73-year-old Balakrishnan and his 67-year-old wife Chanda, were leaders of a Maoist collective that has links with at least 13 properties in London.

Extreme communists, they admired China’s Mao Tse Tung and recruited people with similar ideologies.

Read: London slavery case couple were leaders of a Maoist collective

More: Suspect in London slavery case is older than first thought

Related: Slavery suspects linked to 13 properties across London

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