Church pastor jailed for trafficking child slaves
March 21, 2011 / voice-onlineco.uk
A CHURCH pastor has jailed for illegally trafficking children from Nigeria to work as slaves for her family.
Lucy Adeniji, known at her evangelical church TLCC Ministries, as Reverend Lucy Williams, forced her victims to work for up to 21 hours day - washing, cooking and cleaning her five-bedroom home in Barking.
But the 45-year-old, who worked part-time for Newham Council as a youth worker, also used violence to torture her victims, aged as young as 11, such as rubbing pepper in their eyes and genitals to keep them under control.
Judge Simon Oliver, sentencing at Isleworth Crown Court, branded her an “evil hypocrite” and handed her an 11-and-a-half year jail term.
Detective Inspector Gordon Valentine said: "At just 11-years old, a time when any child should rightfully be at school, this poor young girl was forced to feed her keepers' children, wash their clothes and do the household cleaning, with little or no access to the outside world. Not only this, but she was in a strange country and beaten for her loyalty."
Adeniji was rumbled after one of her victims, now 23, reported her to the police in 2009 to tell officers of her abuse and exploitation.
She had been smuggled into the UK in 1997 and used as a cheap carer for Adeniji’s four children who had previously been looked after by Eastern European au pairs, the court heard.
The victim was not enrolled in school, not registered with a doctor and was not allowed to have friends.
On one particular occasion in 2006 she recalled how the author of two books, Parenting God’s Way and Carry a Seed, beat her unconscious with a stick following an argument over a fish meal. It was witnessed by a second housegirl who had joined the family.
At around the same time, the victim said a pastor at church had given a sermon about parental responsibility and childcare which spurred her on to run away.
In April 2010, she was charged with actual bodily harm, neglect, facilitating illegal immigration and eight offences of fraudulently obtaining British passports. She was found guilty of all offences.
Assistant Director Julie Reene, from the UK Border Agency, said: "This was a truly shocking case in which vulnerable children were trafficked into the UK and treated appallingly.
“Adeniji exploited her victims in the most terrible ways.”