Nanny claims doctor couple ‘treated her like a servant, asked her to sell a KIDNEY and threatened to KILL her after … – Daily Mail
Asmaa Hemdan (pictured today arriving at an employment tribunal in Watford) claims she was treated like a servant by her former employers who brought her to the UK in 2011
A nanny brought to Britain to work for a doctor couple has detailed the alleged horrific treatment carried out by the pair, claiming she was called a ‘dog’, locked in a room for days and had her passport taken away.
Asmaa Hemdan was paid just £400 in five months, or less than 50p an hour, by gynaecology specialist Dr Safaa Ismail and consultant neurosurgeon Hussien Al-Maghraby, an employment tribunal was told today.
Miss Hemdan claims Dr Safaa asked her to sell her kidney and threatened to have her killed.
The 37-year-old said she was treated like a servant by the couple, who lived in a three-storey house in Muswell Hill, north London, where homes are worth an average of nearly £800,000.
Miss Hemdan was flown from Egypt to work for the pair, who are also from Egypt, in May of 2011 as a nanny to their then-four-year-old son.
Miss Hemdan said she was fed leftovers and when she complained, was locked in a bedroom for two days with no food and had to drink from a tap in the bathroom.
She also claimed they took her passport from her and made veiled threats to sell her.
Watford Employment Tribunal was told Miss Hemdan, who has 12 siblings in Egypt and worked to support her family, was forced to hand over her bank card.
The tribunal was told she was called ‘ignorant’, a ‘dog’ and ‘disgusting’ and was banned from her room and forced to sleep on the sofa if she displeased the couple.
She said that Dr Safaa told her brother in Egypt they could always pay someone to kill her.
Miss Hemda claims she eventually fled five months into the job when she was left alone at the couple’s house.
Gynaecology specialist Dr Safaa Ismail (left) and her husband consultant neurosurgeon Hussien Al-Maghraby (right) are alleged to have paid Miss Hemdan only £400 in five months of work after hiring her to look after their four-year-old son in 2011
In addition to free board at the couple’s home, she was supposed to be paid £200 per month for working eight hours per day, six days per week.
Miss Hemdan claims the payments stopped after two months, earning only £400. This means she was paid less than 50p an hour for five months of work, based on a 45-hour work week.
At one point in August when she complained about the alleged conditions, Dr Safaa became ‘furious’, it is claimed.
In her witness statement, Miss Hemdan said: ‘Dr Safaa became furious and began to shout at Miss Hemdan, as she did so pushing her up the stairs.
‘Miss Hemdan was then locked in one of the bedrooms.
‘Miss Hemdan was told that she could come out when she apologised.
‘She was instructed to remain in her room and did so for two days before being allowed out of the room.’
Miss Hemdan told the tribunal: ‘I was in my room for two days and no one brought me any food or water.
‘I was too frightened to leave the room as I was scared of Dr Safaa. I was able to drink water from the sink in the bathroom.’
She added: ‘I was treated as a servant and often told that I was a servant.’
The nanny alleged to the tribunal Dr Safaa was responsible for much of the treatment.
She once told Miss Hemdan ‘that she had girls working for her before and that if they didn’t like things then she sold them on’, it is alleged.
Miss Hemdan said she was fed leftovers and when she complained, was locked in a bedroom with no food and had to drink from a tap in the bathroom. She also claimed they took her passport from her and made veiled threats to sell her. Pictured: Dr Safaa Ismail on Monday
Miss Hemdan said: ‘I was shocked when she said this.
‘I remember I said ”sold them”, because I was so shocked, and Dr Safaa said ”yes” if you sell the passport the girl follows it like a dog.’
On another occasion, when Miss Hemdan visited the bank with the doctor, she was asked if she would be willing to sell her kidney, it is alleged.
Miss Hemdan said: ‘Dr Safaa told me that she was talking to the bank manager about her illness as she had a kidney problem.
‘As we were leaving, Dr Safaa said to me that some people sell a kidney to another person who needs one. I did not know what to say.
‘Dr Safaa waited a moment and then asked me what did I think about that? I answered that if someone would do it, it would be a human and good thing to do.
‘Dr Safaa replied: ”Are you willing?”. I said no, that I was talking in general, not about my own kidney.
‘Dr Safaa said that she could get me £25,000 if I agreed to give ”us” my kidney.
‘I believe that when she said ”us” she meant her and the bank manager.
‘I said no, I could not possibly do this. I said that we do not own our kidneys, they are given to us by Allah.’
Miss Hemdan told the tribunal she was given an en-suite guest room in the family’s loft during the stay.
She said: ‘If Dr Safaa was upset with me she would not let me sleep in my bedroom.
‘On those occasions I was told that I would have to sleep on a sofa in the living room.’
She added: ‘Dr Safaa told me that I was always to use the bathroom in my bedroom.
‘She told me that she did not know where I had come from and what germs and microbes I might have.’
It is alleged Dr Safaa would call Miss Hemdan ‘dog’ and asked to be referred to as ‘hadretek’, an Arabic term said to denote superiority.
The nanny said: ‘This meant that I always had to speak to Dr Safaa as though she was ”higher” or ”more important” than me.
‘If I did not do so, she shouted at me.’
Miss Hemdan is now claiming failure to provide written terms and conditions, race discrimination, failure to pay wages and failure to allow or pay her holiday leave
Her access to food was ‘restricted’ and she would generally be given leftovers from food the family had eaten, the tribunal was told.
Miss Hemdan said: ‘Dr Safaa gave me a spoon, plate, bowl and glass and told me that they were mine and that I was to use them and nothing else.
‘Dr Safaa said she was disgusted by me.
‘Dr Safaa would say things like, ”I understand viruses. I am not ignorant like you”.’
She added: ‘The food I was given was what was left over once the family had eaten their fill.’
Miss Hemdan told the tribunal she fled the house in October, when the couple moved from London to Coventry.
The nanny was made to ‘carry out the packing and moving’ because professional movers were ‘too expensive’, it is alleged.
She would be driven from Coventry to London ‘twice a day’ to help with the move, but one day was left at the London home while Dr Al-Meghraby went for lunch, the tribunal heard.
Miss Hemdan ran away before contacting her family in Egypt, who said they had been threatened, the tribunal heard.
She said: ‘Dr Safaa had called my brother and told him that they could give someone £10,000 to have me killed.’
Both doctors deny all of the claims made by Miss Hemdan and said she had full access to food and living facilities.
They say the nanny was paid in full before she left with ‘no explanation’.
The couple stood trial in a criminal court for trafficking, false imprisonment and holding Miss Hemdan in servitude.
But after two juries could not agree on a verdict they were formally cleared by a judge.
Miss Hemdan is now claiming failure to provide written terms and conditions, race discrimination, failure to pay wages and failure to allow or pay her holiday leave.
The tribunal was reserved for judgement at a later date.