23 Mar 2011

Evangelical pastor, community youth worker and author of childcare book jailed 11 years for child torture and slavery

The Daily Mail  -  UK     March 20, 2011

Eleven years for evil pastor who tortured child slaves


An ‘evil’ church pastor brought children from Nigeria to work as slaves for her family.

Lucy Adeniji, 45, forced her victims to toil for up to 21 hours a day – washing, cooking, cleaning her five-bedroom home and caring for her five children.

Adeniji, an illegal immigrant and benefits cheat, also tortured the slaves, the youngest aged 11.

She regularly beat them and one was attacked with pepper in her eyes and genitals. A court heard she ‘stole the childhoods’ of her victims.

Adeniji, known at her evangelical church, TLCC Ministries, as the Reverend Lucy Williams, worked part-time for Newham Council in east London as a youth worker and was outwardly a ‘pillar of the community’.

But she was branded an evil hypocrite by Judge Simon Oliver at Isleworth Crown Court, west London.

Jailing her for 11 and a half years, he said: ‘Anyone who attended court could not fail to be affected by the pain and suffering these girls had gone through. I remember Dorcus [one of the victims] screaming so badly I had to stop the case for the rest of the day.

‘You sat in the dock completely and utterly unmoved by it. That’s why I’d say you are a complete and utter hypocrite.

‘You are an evil woman. I’ve no doubt you have ruined these two girls’ lives. They will suffer from the consequences of the behaviour you meted out to them for the rest of their lives.’

Adeniji faces automatic deportation at the end of her jail term and a fraud investigation.

She entered the country from Nigeria with her husband Eric in 1986 as a tourist, then used false passports to remain.

The court heard that initially she paid East European au pairs at her house in Barking, east London.

But in 1997 she brought 11-year-old Buki Akanji into the country on a false passport, promising her she would be able to go to school.

Her second victim, Solomon Ordu, was brought to Britain at the age of 15 in 2000, and Dorcus Amoo was 21 when she arrived in 2003.

Prosecutor Tim Starkey said: ‘All three worked unpaid carrying out chores looking after her own five children. They were physically mistreated.’ Buki was tortured with pepper. In 2006 Adeniji beat the girl unconscious after an argument about a meal she cooked, and a few days later she ran away.

In April 2009, when she was 23, she went to police and reported Adeniji and her husband, who is thought to be living in America.

Miss Amoo was forced to strip and kneel to be beaten. In a statement to the court she said: ‘Once I realised she brought me to the UK to be nothing more than a slave I felt deceived, manipulated and exploited. I was so frightened of her. I never knew what she would do next.’

Adeniji was convicted of actual bodily harm, child cruelty, neglect, facilitating illegal immigration and obtaining British passports by deception.

Her sentence of 11-and-a-half years included five years for the assault on Buki and a consecutive five years for child cruelty.

Judge Oliver said of the cruelty charge: ‘This to my mind was the most serious offence, because of the way you treated her, beating her regularly, and caused her to be up at 5am after not allowing her to go to bed until quite late. It went on and on and on.’ Adeniji shook her head as she was sentenced.

Afterwards Detective Inspector Gordon Valentine from Operation Paladin, a joint Metropolitan Police Service and UK Border Agency team, said: ‘At just 11 years old, a time when any child should rightfully be at school, this poor young girl was forced to feed her keepers’ children, wash their clothes and do the household cleaning, with little or no access to the outside world.

‘Not only this, but she was in a strange country and beaten for her loyalty.’

Adeniji, who has arthritis and walks with a stick, has written two books on childcare called ‘Parenting God’s Way’ and ‘Carry a Seed’ in which she described her joy at becoming pregnant after fearing she was infertile.

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