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Cult leader 'ran nest of jealousy and vindictive cruelty', a court hears

Aravindan Balakrishnan Image copyright PA
Image caption Aravindan Balakrishnan said his daughter could not go out because he believed she was dressed "inappropriately"

A communist cult leader "ran a nest of jealousy and vindictive cruelty' a court has been told by a prosecutor.

At Aravindan Balakrishnan's south London collective, women were routinely humiliated, sexually assaulted and raped, said Rosina Cottage QC.

The 75-year-old is also accused of violently controlling and abusing his own child.

Mr Balakrishnan denies the charges, including child cruelty and false imprisonment over 30 years.

The pensioner from Enfield, north London, has also pleaded not guilty to four counts of rape against two women during the 1970s and 1980s, and denies three counts of actual bodily harm.

'Angry and disgusted'

Earlier Southwark Crown Court heard Mr Balakrishnan stopped his daughter from going out because he thought she she was not dressed appropriately.

However, he told the court he took his daughter out to see films at Leicester Square, and to the laundrette so she could meet people.

The court heard she ran away for a short time in 2005, then began a relationship with a man who used to climb into her bedroom through the window.

When Mr Balakrishnan found out, he told the court that he was angry and disgusted even though she was an adult at that stage.

He also denied ever seeing a series of letters, some found by police in his bedroom, in which his daughter described being kept "in an inhuman way and chained up like a prisoner."

The trial continues.

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