Met failings over investigating Barking slavery case

A woman, forced to work as a slave in a Barking home after being trafficked into the country, was awarded �5,000 damages today after a top judge criticised the Metropolitan Police for failing to promptly investigate her case.

The victim, now 25, was regularly stripped naked and beaten with a stick, belt or any other implement close to hand by church pastor, Lucy Adeniji, at her home in Ray Gardens, in front of her three children.

In 1999, Adeniji stabbed the girl in the head with a heavy meat cleaver.

The girl finally fled in April 2006 when Adeniji beat her into unconsciousness.

Adeniji, 44, was in March this year handed an 11-and-a-half-year jail term after being found guilty of trafficking the girl, and two other youngsters, into the UK for use as domestic slaves.

Three other girls who suffered similar violence and exploitation after being lured to the UK by the promise of a better life in other homes in London received the same compensation.

High Court judge, Mr Justice Wynn Williams, reached “the clear conclusion” that, had it not been for the intervention of the girls’ solicitors and the threat of legal action, there would have been no offer to investigate.

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He added: “It must have been very frustrating, at the very least, that no investigation commenced reasonably expeditiously after July 2007. As I have said, it took an unequivocal threat of legal proceedings to galvanise an investigation”.

Police lawyers accepted during the case that, at traffickers’ hands, all four women endured “cruel or inhuman treatment”, banned by the Human Rights Convention, but the judge said it was not until December 2008 that an unequivocal offer to investigate was made.