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  • Teenager Held Prisoner
  • The Age
  • 28/07/2002 Make a Comment
  • Contributed by: admin ( 30 articles in 2002 )
Police have charged the mother and stepfather of a 17-year-old girl with imprisoning her in their Sydney home for two years. The case of "Anna" (not her real name) came to light after she managed to escape through a window of the south-western suburban home on April 17 and stagger to the nearest police station. She weighed barely 40 kilograms.

Recovering in hospital, she told a neighbour she had been locked in a bedroom. "She was given Weet-Bix with vinegar in it to eat and water mixed with salt. "The thing is, she is still concerned about getting her mother and father into trouble," the neighbour said.

Child Protection Enforcement Agency detectives arrested a 40-year-old woman and a 51-year-old man last week. The couple will face Liverpool Local Court next month, charged with false imprisonment. Neighbours said the girl vanished two years ago and they were told by the family that she had gone to Queensland.

Concerned about her sudden disappearance, three neighbours said they wrote to, and rang the NSW Department of Community Services on five occasions, without a satisfactory outcome. A DOCS spokeswoman said the department had received two notifications about the girl, one in June 1998 and the other in October 1999. "We attended both times, but the two notifications were not substantiated. DOCS did not receive further notification about the girl until April this year, when she walked into the police station. We are now providing her with support as well as medical and schooling costs."

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