A woman who kept a slave in a cupboard under the stairs can be reunited with her eight-year-old daughter as she is to be deported.

The parent was jailed for more than two years for keeping a man and woman prisoner in an address in Warrington.

Also involved in human trafficking, the woman and her partner organised the smuggling of the desperate people from Eastern Europe into the UK.

Vulnerable victims were recruited and forced to work at their home, but never paid.

The woman and her boyfriend controlled slaves at two different addresses in Warrington, giving a man a cupboard to live in, with just a mattress, pillow and blanket.

They took charge of his money, working arrangements at a recycling plant in St Helens and took out loans and store cards in his name.

The cramped sleeping quarters, under the stairs, where a Lithuanian couple kept their slave in Warrington
The cramped sleeping quarters, under the stairs, where a Lithuanian couple kept their slave in Warrington

Another slave, a woman, was forced to clean and look after the jailed woman's young daughter.

There was no bed for her and she was forced to sleep on the sofa in the living room.

She was often given just one meal a day and spoke of being so hungry sometimes that she cried.

The female slave only escaped after scribbling the word "help" on a visiting police officer's paperwork.

Now, after a hearing at the High Court in London, a judge has ruled the jailed woman should be given permission to reunite with her daughter.

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She is to be deported to Lithuania and can take her daughter with her.

Mr Justice MacDonald had considered what moves were in the best interests of the girl, who was born in Britain, at a recent family court hearing and has outlined his decision in a written ruling.

Social services bosses have recommended mum and child should be reunited and return to Lithuania together.

The woman said she aimed to address her "grave shortcomings" as a parent, and Mr Justice MacDonald said she would be monitored and supported by social workers in Lithuania.

The woman, who is Lithuanian, said she had been subjected to domestic abuse by the girl's father.

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He had also been accused of offences relating to people trafficking and his whereabouts were unknown, the judge said.

"All parties are agreed that it is in (the girl's) best interests to be reunited with her mother and for her to return with her mother to Lithuania..." said Mr Justice MacDonald.

"I am also satisfied that it is in (her) best interests to be returned to the care of her mother and ... return to Lithuania with her mother."

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The judge said: "The mother accepts that she has exposed her daughter to criminal conduct by being involved in offending related to human trafficking and forced slavery, including at one point keeping an individual in bondage in the loft in property where (the girl) also resided and thereafter in a cupboard under the stairs."

He added: "To the mother's credit she has accepted, and evinced credibly an intention to address the grave shortcomings as a parent..."