– With AAP.
1. Couple jailed for keeping Fijian woman as servant.
A Brisbane couple will remain behind bars for at last the next two years for callously exploiting a Fijian woman for eight years.
Malavine Pulini, 48, and Isikeli Pulini, 60, were sentenced to six and five years prison with a non parole period of two years in the Brisbane District Court on Tuesday.
The parents of four were last week found guilty of forced labour offences and they pleaded guilty to harbouring and illegal non citizen.
Mrs Pulini was convicted of an additional human trafficking offence.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was treated so badly her freedom had been taken and her human rights were “seriously compromised”, according to Judge Leanne Clare.
The woman was trafficked into the country on a tourist visa by Brisbane mother Malavine who gave her a bogus promise of being able to get her a longer visa. But when she arrived in the country the couple took her passport from her and forced her to work as a nanny, maid and cook until her escape in 2016.
She was paid about $250 per fortnight, but there were periods where she had to stretch that amount to last up to seven weeks.
On Tuesday Judge Clare was scathing in her judgement as she sentenced them to prison with a non parole period of two years. Judge Clare said the pair tried to enhance the quality of their own lives by oppressing another person. She said the pair had shown no remorse for the years they restricted the woman’s life.
While the public gallery featured a number of supporters for the Pulini couple, Judge Clare said it was difficult to reconcile the presentation they made to their friends in the church and their neighborhood with the way they treated the woman.
Earlier in the hearing, the court was read a victim impact statement from the woman who said she felt “helpless” and “treated like a slave” as she toiled on call and around the clock for them for eight years.
“I still experience nightmares about the way they treated me,” she said, according to ABC.
“They abused my trust and knew what they were doing was wrong.
“I often ask, ‘why me? What have I done to deserve this treatment?'”
2. French authorities believe the Notre Dame blaze was ‘probably accidental’.
The fire that tore through Notre-Dame cathedral was probably caused by accident, French prosecutors say, after firefighters doused the last flames in the ruins.
More than 400 firemen were needed to tame the inferno that consumed the roof and collapsed the spire of the eight-centuries-old cathedral. They worked through the night to bring the fire under control some 14 hours after it began.