A British court has convicted a couple found guilty of enslaving a Nigerian immigrant for more than two decades, forcing him to work for no pay and threatening him with deportation if he tried to escape.
Prosecutors told the Harrow Crown Court in northwest London that Emanuel Edet, 61, and Antan Edet, 58, held their victim captive from the time he was brought to Britain when he was 14 years old.
Damaris Lakin, the Crown Prosecution Service, said the couple was convicted on charges of child cruelty, slavery and assisting in illegal immigration.
Lakin said the couple forced him to work for no pay and threatening him with deportation if he tried to escape.
The prosecutors added that the Edets had told the teen when they brought him from Nigeria in 1989 that they would pay him and provide him with an education.
Instead, the victim, now 40, was forced to cook, clean, garden and care for the couple’s children without any pay for up to 17 hours a day.
Lakin said: “He got no education and had only very limited contact with his family and the outside world.
“The couple took his passport and he had no identity documents and is forced to eat alone and typically slept on hallway floors.”
Lakin said the Edets told their captive he would be arrested as an illegal immigrant and deported if he left the house and contacted police.
“He believed this and felt trapped and completely dependent on the Edets,” prosecutors told the court.
Lakin said Emanuel and Antan Edet have cruelly robbed the victim of 24 years of his life and they have treated him with complete contempt.
He said: “This was a shocking case of modern day slavery.”
The prosecutor said the Edets had changed the victim’s name and added him to their family passport as their son when they brought him into Britain.
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