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Young woman's life of misery after being trafficked



A young African woman was 'treated like a slave'  for six years after being brought to the UK to live with a couple in Watford.


Dela Logostou, 25, from Togo, was taken to Nigeria and then flown to this country to work as a nanny for Oluremi Omotoye and his wife Taiwo.


Her name was changed to Salamatsou Rokosu and she was exploited and abused, both verbally and physically.


At St Albans Crown Court on Monday  Oluremi, 50, and Taiwo, 43, of Sherwood Court, High Road, Leavesden, Watford, were convicted by a jury of trafficking a person for exploitation.


Prosecutor Ann Evans said Dela had a difficult upbringing. Her mother left the family when she was young and her father married several other women. Her education stopped when she was eight and she was sent to work in local markets and shops.


She came into contact with a friend of Taiwo Omotoye, who said she was looking for a nanny to care for her children in the UK. She was taken to Nigeria, but did not understand what was going on as she did not speak the language.


Dela worked as a housekeeper in Nigeria for two years between 2005 and 2007, before a visa was obtained for her to come to the UK. It was in the name of Salamatsou Rokosu and gave her date of birth as two years earlier.


"Once Dela arrived in the UK in 2007, things could not have been further from that which she had been promised. She was expected to work 60 hours a week. This appeared to increase to 62 and a half hours in 2010. She was not told what her working hours would be, or what her working hours were or when she would be paid. In her words, she was treated live a slave. Whatever she was told to do, she had to do it or she was verbally used," said Mrs Evans.


Dela was also expected to work at an after school club called Groovy Kids that Mrs Omotoye had set up.


The jury heard that the couple did not treat her as a family member and she did not have her own room or bed. She was made to sleep on a mattress in the couple's daughter's bedroom, even though the daughter was away at boarding school.


Mrs Evans went on: "Each time Dela did something that was not to Mrs Omotoye's satisfaction, she would be verbally abused and humiliated by her. She would be called stupid and idiot and would be ridiculed for her limited education and family background.


"Dela was also physically abused and assaulted by both of the defendants.  She would be slapped and struck with a belt as a means of punishment."


She did not have a set salary. A bank account was set up in her name, but she did not have access to the account or money. Her passport was taken away and, although she had a key, she had to ask permission to leave the house.


On 11 December 2013 there was an argument between her and Mrs Omotoye because Dela had not made her dinner. More threats were made and Dela ran away. She confided in a co-worker at Groovy Kids, who called the police.


The next day the Omotoyes reported her missing. They said she had been treated as a family member.


Judge Jonathan Carroll granted them bail while pre-sentence reports are prepared, but he warned them: "The level of offence is such that custody is highly likely. "


Sentence will be in the middle of January.


** Please note - This court copy is provided by South Beds news agency, who retain the copyright© for all articles published. **