Dagenham mum cleared of smuggling girl under voodoo curse

PUBLISHED: 16:51 02 May 2013 | UPDATED: 16:51 02 May 2013


A mother-of-two has been cleared of helping to smuggle a Nigerian teenager into Britain and forcing her into prostitution under a voodoo curse.

Glory Benjamin, 35, was accused of being part of a network of West African traffickers who used ‘juju’ rituals to terrify the girl into silence.

The girl, now 18, said she was raped by up to four men a day at Benjamin’s house in Church Elm Lane, Dagenham.

She told how she had been lured to Britain from southern Nigeria under the promise of a better future and cared for Benjamin’s two daughters before she was allegedly ordered to work as a sex slave.

When she complained, Benjamin threatened to cut her up, it was said.

But a jury at Southwark Crown Court cleared Benjamin of wounding with intent following a retrial and were unable to reach a verdict on any of the remaining counts.

Prosecutor Riel Karmy-Jones said: “Although there are some cases where one might proceed to a third trial, this is not one. In particular it would not be right to ask the complainant to give evidence for a third time.

“It is not appropriate to leave the charges to lie on the file, as there is no prospect of them ever being taken to court.”

Benjamin was cleared of trafficking into and out of the UK for exploitation, conspiracy to rape, causing or inciting prostitution for gain and controlling prostitution for gain on the directions of Judge Alistair McCreath.

She also admitted a conspiracy charge which involved helping the victim enter France under a false identity and was convicted of a fraud charge having used a fake passport to rent her home.

Benjamin is expected to walk free due to time she has already served on remand.

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