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Cult leader's daughter 'haunted' by mother's death

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Media captionBalakrishnan's daughter Katy Morgan-Davies: "[I was] just so happy to be free"

The daughter of cult leader Aravindan Balakrishnan has revealed she was haunted by dreams of her mother, who died before she could discover their true relationship.

Balakrishnan, who kept her locked up for decades, has been jailed for 23 years.

Katy Morgan-Davies, 33, formerly known as Rosie Davies, has decided to waive her right to anonymity.

Her mother died after falling out of a window at the commune.

She told the BBC that leaving the commune had been "the best feeling in the world... It was unbelievable.

"To this day I can't really believe that I'm free."

'Worshipped Mao'

Balakrishnan set up his tiny cult, known as the Workers' Institute of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought, in the 1970s in south London.

Ms Morgan-Davies said he worshipped Communist dictators like Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin and wanted to emulate them.

She said: "Sometimes he would say he didn't like Mao, because he saw Mao as a rival to him as well.

"So he sort of followed them and wanted to be like them, but at the same time he didn't want them to be worshipped, except as secondary to him."

Image copyright Owen Humphreys/PA
Image caption Katy Morgan-Davies has started a new life in Leeds

Haunted

Banned from going to school, mixing with other children or leaving the house unaccompanied, Ms Morgan-Davies instead spent her days being taught about Balakrishnan's world importance and singing songs eulogising him.

Growing up she was not told Balakrishnan was her father, or that her mother was Sian Davies - one of the women in the cult.

Instead she knew them simply as "comrade".

On Christmas Eve in 1996, Ms Davies fell from the bathroom window of the commune's house.

That night her daughter heard screaming and shouting and saw her mother lying in a pool of blood below the bathroom window, pleading with Balakrishnan to "kill me".

She died of her injuries several months later in hospital.

When Ms Morgan-Davies discovered the truth about their relationship, she was haunted by dreams of her mother.

"I remember I used to dream about her a lot, and I used to wake up crying", she said. "I used to dream that I said 'I know you are my mum'."

Ms Morgan-Davies managed to escape the cult in 2013 and is now carving out a new life for herself in Leeds.

She is studying maths and English in college - the first formal education she has ever received, despite having a very high IQ.

She said: "I've been a non-person all my life and now is my chance to be myself."

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