A GP and her husband have been jailed for trafficking a woman to the UK in order to exploit her.
Ayodeji Adewakun, 45, (16.06.72) a doctor and her husband Abimbola Adewakun, 49, (13.06.68) a nurse, both from St Katherine’s Road in Erith, Bexley, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, 20 June, where they were jailed.
Ayodeji Adewakun was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for one count of trafficking for the purpose of exploitation.
Abimbola Adewakun was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for one count of trafficking for the purpose of exploitation.
The pair were each also ordered to pay £10,000 in compensation to the victim and £2,520 to cover court costs.
The couple had brought the 29-year-old female victim to the UK from Nigeria to work at their home. She remained working for them from February 2007 to June 2009.
She was contracted to work from 07:00hrs to 17:00hrs, Monday to Saturday, looking after the Adewakuns’ children for £500 per month. In reality they didn’t pay her anything at all until May 2009, when she confronted Dr Adewakun about her lack of wages. Although this prompted the setting up of a bank account for the victim, she only ever received four payments to the account which totalled £350 – this represented payment for more than two years of the victim’s work.
She was never given a day off, she worked night and day and eventually her health began to suffer. When she eventually confronted Dr Adewakun about the way she was being treated, her situation worsened. She was no longer permitted to use the family bathroom and was made to wash her clothes by hand. She eventually escaped in June 2009 with the help of a family friend.
The case was referred to the Met’s Modern Slavery and Kidnap Unit by Migrant Legal Action (formerly Afro-Asian Advisory Service). On 13 January 2015 Abimbola Adewakun was arrested and interviewed and later released on bail.
On 19 January 2015 Ayodeji Adewakun attended a police station by appointment and was interviewed under caution.
Both defendants were charged on 10 November 2015 with two counts of trafficking for the purpose of exploitation. They appeared for trial at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 19 May where they were both found guilty of one count of trafficking a woman to the United Kingdom for the purposes of exploitation.
Investigating Officer Detective Sergeant Nick Goldwater said:
“The couple deceived the victim into working for them by offering her a job in the UK with a regular wage. She accepted the job as the salary was higher than what she could earn in Nigeria and she believed that she would be able to send money back home and support her family.
“In reality, the situation she found herself in was one of servitude inflicted by a couple who withheld her identity documents, made her work very long hours and paid her hardly anything.
“I hope the sentences handed down today provide the victim with a measure of closure that help her move on with her life and that they encourage anyone who is being exploited to come forward.”