A WOMAN who kept a slave in a cupboard under the stairs can be reunited with her daughter, a court has ruled.

The homeless Lithuanian was trafficked from his home country to the UK in June 2017 and was taken to an address on Fitzherbert Street in Orford, where he slept in the attic.

When the the traffickers moved home to Westland Drive in Padgate after Christmas that year, he was then lived in a cupboard at the property with a mattress, a pillow and a blanket.

They controlled his working arrangements at a recycling plant in St Helens, as well as his finances – taking out loans and store cards in his name.

After he 'stood up for himself and left' in March 2018, the couple arranged for a Lithuanian woman to travel to the UK the following June.

She was put to work as a cleaner, but was occasionally left so hungry that she would cry – with her weight dropping by 11kg.

The mum was jailed for 28 months in March 2019 after admitting human trafficking, while her boyfriend was handed a 15-month imprisonment.

Now the High Court in London has ruled that she can reunite with her eight-year-old daughter.

This girl – who was born in the UK – was taken into the temporary care of Warrington Borough Council following her mother's conviction, but the pair will be allowed to leave the country together and return to Lithuania.

Sitting in the family division of the court, Justice Alastair MacDonald 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.

"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.

"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.

"To the mother’s credit she has accepted and evinced credibly an intention to address the grave shortcomings as a parent."