British court convicts couple for keeping a Nigerian as slave for 24 years

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The Harrow Crown Court in northwest London, has convicted a British couple who were found guilty of keeping a Nigerian immigrant enslaved for more than two decades. Damaris Lakin, the Crown Prosecution Service, said on Wednesday in London that Emmanuel Edet, 61, and Antan Edet, 58, held their victim captive from the time he was brought to Britain when he was 14 years old.

The prosecutors said the couple was convicted on charges of child cruelty, slavery and assisting in illegal immigration. He said the couple forced him to work for no pay and threatened him with deportation if he tried to escape.

Mr. Lakin said 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. The prosecutors said 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.

“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,’’ the prosecutors said. Mr. 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. “Emanuel and Antan Edet cruelly robbed the victim of 24 years of his life and they treated him with complete contempt. “This was a shocking case of modern day slavery. Edets changed the victim’s name and added him to their family passport as their son when they brought him into Britain.