A 50-year-old Nigerian jobcentre fraud investigator, Afolake Adeniji, who kept a Nigerian woman as a slave for more than a decade has been jailed for two and a half years by a Southwark Crown Court.
Ms Adeniji was working in the fraud department at Plaistow Job Centre in east London when she persuaded Iyabo Prosper to fly to London from Nigeria in 2003 when she was just 13.
Ms Prosper, as a teenager, was promised free education and a life free of poverty in at Adeniji’s home in Beckton, east London.
Instead, Miss Prosper was forced to wake up at 5.30am every day to look after Adeniji’s children before spending the rest of her day cooking and cleaning for her family.
The prosecutor, Irshad Sheikh, told Southwark Crown Court: ‘She was completely submissive to the defendant and her family and any confidence she had was lost and ebbed away.
‘Effectively that was what she was living – the life of domestic servitude.’
He added: ‘It soon became apparent that Iyabo had become miserable, had become extremely depressed, was having negative thoughts and suicidal ideas.’
Iyabo Prosper, who is now 27, claimed Adeniji’s verbal abuse has left her with post traumatic stress disorder.
She eventually summoned to tell a friend how she was being treated and Adeniji was arrested in October 2014.
She was convicted of arranging or facilitating the travel of Miss Prosper to the UK for exploitation but cleared of inflicting grievous bodily harm, following her victim’s claims of being given post traumatic stress disorder.
Jailing Adjenji for two and a half years, Judge Stephen Robbins said: ‘You subjected a young girl to a life of domestic servitude for a lengthy period of years.
‘You used her for your own ends. You exploited her.’
Jurors heard Ms Prosper was forced to work ‘for up to 16 hours a day’, first at an unknown address in Beckton and then at another house in Eglington Drive, Chelmsford.
The court was told she had to share the box room occupied by Adeniji’s children and would be up at 5.30am to get them fed and ready for school.
Household chores would occupy the rest of her day until she had to pick them up, prepare dinner for the family and tidy up before going to bed at around 10.30pm.
According to an Evening Standard report, Ms Adeniji collapsed and let out a long wail as she was sentenced on Friday. She had insisted during her trial that Iyabo was falsely accusing her and had been welcomed into the family but at the sentencing hearing she apologised for forcing her into slavery.
“She wishes to express her sincere apologies for everything that happened to Iyabo during her stay at Ms Adeniji’s address” her lawyer, Laurie-Anne Power said.