London

Perivale 'slave' kept diary of alleged abuse, court hears

Antan Edet (left) and Emmanuel Edet
Image caption Emmanuel and Antan Edet, from Perivale, north west London, deny slavery and cruelty charges.

A man "owned" as a slave for 24 years kept a diary detailing mistreatment at the hands of his alleged captors, a court has heard.

In one entry, Ofonime Sunday Inuk wrote that he was punched in the eye for using a mobile phone, Harrow Crown Court was told.

He said he was also forced to sleep in a corridor and leave the house during the day to pretend he had a job.

Emmanuel and Antan Edet, from Perivale, deny slavery and cruelty charges.

'Always mishandling' things

Mr Inuk was about 14 years old when he left his native Nigeria with Mr and Mrs Edet, now aged 60 and 58, whom he met through a family friend.

In the diary, parts of which were read to jurors, he referred to the couple as Sir and Ma.

He wrote: "Tonight Ma hit me so hard in my right eye because she saw me holding my phone in the kitchen."

Mr Inuk gave evidence from behind a screen, so he could not see the couple.

Another diary entry said a fridge door had fallen off its hinges and Mr Inuk was blamed for it.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, Mr Inuk told the court the couple said he had a "destructive hand" and was "always mishandling things".

He wrote how he was given pocket money of £5 to £10 and was not allowed to use the landline or charge his phone, although he did secretly at night.

The couple also made him sit in the kitchen all day, the jury heard.

'Sick' of the house

Prosecutor Roger Smart said, despite feeling dependent on his captors, Mr Inuk tried to break away from them many times.

Mr Inuk once went to try and join the Army as he was "sick of being in the house all the time", Mr Smart said.

But he didn't have a passport so could not join.

The jury was also told Mr Inuk's family contacted the Edets in 2004 after they received a worrying letter in which he described how he was being treated.

Mr Inuk said Mrs Edet was "not happy" Mr Inuk's cousin had come to visit and claimed they had sent money and passports to Nigeria.

The couple also claimed they had transferred money in to a bank account but Mr Inuk had no knowledge of this account, the court was told.

Mr Inuk went to Greenford police station with a family friend, Mr Smart said, because he was "not used to talking to people".

But Mr Inuk said he was told it was a "family matter", which left him "a bit dejected".

The couple, of Perivale, north-west London, holding a person in slavery and servitude and of assisting unlawful immigration.

They deny a further charge of cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

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