Deaf woman assisted by deaf intermediary

Police officers visited a house where they found a young woman who had been kept in virtual slavery.

She was deaf and had had no exposure to language or education. An intermediary, who was also deaf, worked with her over 10 sessions to build rapport and create an effective method of communicating with her. The police filmed 14 interviews with her, assisted by the intermediary, where she disclosed allegations of rape and other serious offences.

The intermediary was present at the trial to facilitate communication while the witness gave her evidence over many days.