London

Perivale slavery accused 'hid victim's passport'

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

A man who claims he was kept as a slave by a couple for 24 years said his passport was hidden from him, a court has heard.

Ofonime Sunday Inuk told Harrow Crown Court he had not seen his passport for more than a decade.

Asked by prosecutor Roger Smart where it had been from 2001 to now, Mr Inuk said: "It was with Dr Edet."

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

The jury heard Dr Edet had told Mr Inuk, who is now aged 39, that his passport had expired and he needed to go to Nigeria to get it.

He was also told the couple were going to get him an emergency travel ticket from the Nigerian embassy but this never happened, the court heard.

'A bit dejected'

The court heard 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, where he cleaned and looked after the couple's home and children.

The couple warned him if he left the house or went to the police he would be arrested for being an illegal immigrant and deported, the prosecution said.

However Mr Inuk said he had made attempts to break away from them by speaking to a family friend and trying to report the couple to the police in 2005.

Mr Inuk went to Greenford police station, accompanied by a family friend, but felt "a bit dejected" after being told by an officer it was a family matter, the jury was told.

Prosecutor Mr Smart previously told the court "it was incorrectly believed by the officer to whom it was reported that he could not help".

Mr Edet, 60, a trained obstetrician and gynaecologist, and his wife Mrs Edet, 58, a senior sister at a hospital, have both pleaded not guilty to holding a person in slavery and servitude.

The couple also deny assisting unlawful immigration and cruelty to a person under the age of 16.

The trial continues.

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