Maoist cult leader jailed for rape and false imprisonment

Aravindan Balakrishnan brainwashed his followers into believing he had supernatural powers

Maoist cult leader jailed for rape and false imprisonment

Maoist Aravindan Balakrishnan arrives at Southwark Crown Court, London where he denies seven counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape against two women during the 1970s and 1980s, London. (Anthony Devlin / PA Wire)

A Maoist cult leader has been found guilty of 14 offences including raping followers, and the false imprisonment of his own daughter for 30 years.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, 75, was convicted of several sex assaults, cruelty to a child and false imprisonment following a trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.

The court heard how he brainwashed his followers into thinking he had God-like powers.

He also invented a supernatural force called Jackie who he said could trigger natural disasters if he was disobeyed.

He even fathered a daughter with one of his acolytes, who was then kept prisoner in the home for three decades.

She was beaten, banned from singing nursery rhymes, and was not allowed to go to school or make friends.

She later described herself as a "shadow woman" who was kept like a "caged bird".

Detective Sergeant Paul Wiggett said she was so terrorised by her father that she "genuinely believed the day she left the house she was going to explode - that her life would come to an end".

She said afterwards: "I believe justice has definitely been done. I am very happy with the result and at the end of the day he is still my dad."

As the verdict was read out, Balakrishnan looked straight ahead.

However one of his former followers shouted: "You are sending an innocent man to prison. Shame on you."

Balakrishnan, of Enfield, north London, was found guilty of six counts of indecent assault and four counts of rape.

He was also convicted of two counts of ABH, cruelty to a child under 16, and false imprisonment.

He was cleared of one count of ABH and one count of indecent assault.

Sentencing has been adjourned until 29 January for a psychiatric report to be prepared.

Balakrishnan was remanded in custody.