61-year-old Emmanuel Edet and his wife, 58-year-old Antan Edet were arrested by London police in their home in Perivale, North West London, after their “houseboy” Ofonime Sunday Inuk heard a radio report about modern slavery, and called a charity asking for their help.
Emmanuel Edet, a former NHS obstetrician and Antan Edet, a senior midwife, trafficked Inuk, an orphan from Nigeria in 1989, telling immigration officials he was their teenage son.
For 24 years Inuk worked unpaid for up to 17 hours per day looking after the couple’s two sons and performing domestic duties such as cooking, cleaning and gardening. He was made to sleep on the floor of the hallway. After confiscating his passport, the couple told Inuk if he were to leave the house he would be deported as an illegal immigrant.
In November 2015, The Edet’s were found guilty of child cruelty, servitude and for the assistance of unlawful immigration. Each have been sentenced to six years.
Although the mistreatment of Inuk spanned 24 years, servitude only became an offence under the Coroners and Justice Act in 2009, so their conviction and sentencing for servitude can only count for injustices from 2010 to 2013.
The Dark Figure* is an ongoing photographic project that investigates and documents UK neighbourhoods where victims have been identified as modern-day slaves.
Photo: Farrier Road, Perivale, Ealing, London, courtesy of The Dark Figure