|Dr Emmanuel Edet, right, and his wife |
An NHS doctor enslaved a man in his home for 24 years after smuggling him into Britain as a child, a court heard yesterday. Emmanuel Edet demanded to be called ‘master’ as he beat his victim and subjected him to a ‘life of misery’, it was claimed. Edet, 60, and his wife Antan, 58, a senior hospital nurse, are accused of stripping Ofonime Inuk of his passport and making him work up to 17 hours a day.
|The couple, pictured, have both pleaded not guilty to holding a person in slavery and servitude|
He described how he was scared of the couple after realising they would not pay him or send him to school. In a soft voice, he said he was not ‘free’, adding: ‘I could only take the children to the park, that was the only time I could take them out.’
In a police interview, he said he was known as a ‘house boy’, adding: ‘My role is to stay in the house ... I always do everything in the house, sir … clean, cook, wash car, the gardening, ironing … or maybe like a slave. That’s called slavery.’
Dr Edet, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, and his wife are being prosecuted under modern anti-slavery legislation.
The jury was told Mr Inuk escaped after hearing about another case in the media while the couple travelled to Nigeria for Christmas. He contacted a charity which tipped off police who were stunned to find him alone in their £450,000 four-bedroom terrace home in Perivale, monitored by a CCTV camera.
|The deal: Harrow Crown Court (pictured) heard Mr Inuk was introduced to the couple through a family friend in Nigeria. He was to be paid for his work and receive an education, but this never happened, the court was told|
They stayed at addresses, including hospital accommodation, in Chatham, Scarborough, Walsall and London. Roger Smart, prosecuting, said Mr Inuk slept on the kitchen floor on a dirty foam mattress thrown out by a hospital. He was expected to get up first and begin cleaning the house, but was told to sweep instead of using a vacuum cleaner because it was too noisy. Mr Inuk was also forced to wash clothes by hand because the Edets said it was too expensive to run the washing machine.
|On trial: Mr Inuk's alleged captors were charged after an investigation by Scotland Yard's Human Trafficking Unit. Both pleaded not guilty to holding a person in slavery and servitude and assisting unlawful immigration|
At one stage he tried to undertake a college course in computer skills but the Edets stopped him, it is claimed. Mr Smart said: ‘When he did not meet their exacting standards, they hit him and punched him – he recalls this particularly clearly in relation to his trying to apply for college.’ Mr Inuk did seek help but was turned away by police who simply recorded his case as a lost passport, and by social services who said they could not help because he was an adult.
The Edets deny cruelty to a person under 16, slavery and assisting unlawful immigration. The case continues.
- Daily Mail