A fraud investigator for the Jobcentre was jailed for 30 months after she kept a Nigerian woman as her slave for more than a decade. Afolake Adeniji, 50, brought Iyabo Prosper to the UK in 2003 when she was aged 13, enticing her with the chance of education and to escape poverty.
However, for around 10 years, Iyabo was forced to get up each day at 5.30am to cook and clean for Adeniji and her family. Southwark Crown Court heard that Iyabo had contemplated suicide after years of misery as a "house girl", the Evening Standard reported.
Adeniji was a fraud investigator for the Department for Work and Pensions based at a Plaistow Jobcentre. She lost her job when the criminal case came to light.
Sentenced on Friday 6 October, Adeniji let out a loud wail after insisting that Iyabo was welcomed into the family. But after her sentencing, she apologised to Iyabo for forcing her into slavery.
Hey lawyer, Laurie-Anne Power, said: "She wishes to express her sincere apologies for everything that happened to Iyabo during her stay at Ms Adeniji's address."
The case came to light in 2014 when Iyabo, now 27, told a friend about the treatment she was receiving and went to the police.
Speaking at the sentencing, Judge Stephen Robins said: "You subjected a young girl to a life of domestic servitude for a lengthy period... You used her for your own ends, you exploited her."
Adeniji, of no fixed address but previously of Chelmsford, was convicted of arranging or facilitating the travel to the UK of a person with a view to exploitation. She was cleared of GBH.