Slave-case man ‘punched in eye’

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Published: Friday 8th May 2015 by The News Editor

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A woman accused with her husband of keeping a man as a slave punched the alleged victim in his right eye when she saw him with his phone in the kitchen, a court heard today.

Ofonime Sunday Inuk claims he was kept a slave by a doctor and his wife for 24 years.

Emmanuel Edet, 60, a trained obstetrician and gynaecologist, and his wife Antan, 58, a senior sister at a hospital, have each pleaded not guilty at Harrow Crown Court in north-west London to holding a person in slavery and servitude.

The couple, of Perivale, north-west London, also deny assisting unlawful immigratio n and cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

Mr Inuk, 39, has told the court his passport was hidden from him for more than a decade, saying it was with Dr Edet.

Today the court heard he kept a diary in which he recorded his alleged treatment.

In it he referred to the Edets as “sir” and “ma” , and wrote in one entry: “Tonight ma hit me so hard in my right eye because she saw me holding my phone in the kitchen.”

Another entry said that the fridge door came off its hinges when he was opening it, and he would definitely get the blame for it.

Asked by Roger Smart, prosecuting, why that should be, he said: “Because they always said I had a destructive hand, that I was always mishandling things.”

He kept a record of how he was allegedly given “pocket money”, of £5 or £10, forced to sleep in the corridor, and to sit in the kitchen all day.

He was not allowed to use the landline in the house, or to charge his phone, though he did so secretly at night.

When a visitor came to stay, he cooked for him, and had to go out of the house in the daytime to make it look like he had a job, the court heard.

Mr Inuk is giving hi s evidence from behind a screen so that he cannot see the defendants.

The court has heard that Mr Inuk was about 14 years old in 1989 when he left his native Nigeria with the Edets, travelling first to Israel before arriving in the UK. H e stayed at various addresses with their family where he cleaned and looked after the couple’s home and children.

The prosecution has said Mr Inuk became so dependent on the Edets he felt he had no choice but to stay with them.

He was told that if he left the house and reported matters to the police he would be arrested as an illegal immigrant and sent back to Nigeria.

Despite feeling dependent on the Edets, Mr Inuk made several attempts to try to break away from them.

He told the jury that he spoke to a family friend, an MP and was left feeling “a bit dejected ” when he tried to report them to the police in around 2005 only to be told they could not help, as it was a “family matter”.

Published: Friday 8th May 2015 by The News Editor

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