A COUPLE have been sentenced for trafficking a teenager they claimed threatened them with voodoo.
Samuel and Ernestina Quainoo, of Holly Gardens, West Drayton, pleaded guilty to facilitation of a non-EU citizen into the UK on April 4.
The plan was hatched between 2003 and 2004 when Mrs Quainoo, 37, was living in Ghana while Mr Quainoo, 59, lived in West Drayton.
Father-of-one Mr Quainoo obtained false documents to show the 13-year-old girl was their child to gain entry clearance from the British High Commission in Ghana.
Despite not wanting to leave her family, she was convinced by Mrs Quainoo and her mother to make the move in search of a better future.
But after arriving in the UK in March 2004, the teenager claimed she was forced to act as an unpaid child minder to the couple's baby.
In May 2006, the girl fled to Hillingdon Social Services and claimed she had not been allowed to go to school, make friends or socialise.
Her only leisure activity was walking to the library, where she was allowed to read books but not join.
On April 4 the pair pleaded guilty to facilitation of a non-EU citizen into the UK at Isleworth Crown Court, but denied they had treated the girl as a slave.
The court heard how the couple claimed that in Ghana voodoo still existed and the girl, now aged 14, had threatened to put a spell on them.
But on Friday the pair were sentenced to 18 months in prison, with Mrs Quainoo receiving a suspended sentence. They were also fined £1,000 each.
Detective Inspector Gordon Valentine, from Operation Paladin, said: "This case shows that the welfare of every child in this country is paramount. This young girl was robbed of two years of her childhood by the treatment she received from the Quainoos."