A cult leader in Britain has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for raping and sexually assaulting his female followers and keeping his daughter imprisoned in a secretive Maoist commune for three decades.

Aravindan Balakrishnan, known as "Comrade Bala," was convicted in December of rape, indecent assault, false imprisonment and cruelty to a child.

The 75-year-old had been accused of sexually abusing and brainwashing his followers into believing he had God-like powers, ensuring they were too scared to leave the tiny radical communist group he ran in south London.

His victims included his daughter, who was born into the commune and was almost never allowed to go out in 30 years.

The case came to light in 2013 when police released three women from a south London house.