Boy, 11, was treated like a slave and tortured, court heard

A boy sent from Bangladesh to Britain in the hope of a better education endured a lifestyle of slavery, abuse and torture, a court heard yesterday.

The 11-year-old boy was allegedly forced to work as a "household slave", was prohibited from using the toilet and was punished with cold baths for soiling himself.

The boy also claimedhe was once tortured, receiving electric shocks from a wire inserted into a socket.

In connection with this incident, Mohammed Ahmed, a friend of the boy's family, was charged with one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm. Mr Ahmed, 30, denied the charge, claiming the boy lied.

Southwark Crown Court, in south-east London, heard the boy had been sent to live with Mr Ahmed in the hope he would receive a better education than in Bangladesh.

But in November 2001 Mr Ahmed allegedly used the shock torture to punish the boy for failing to arrive at school on time, John Price, for the prosecution, told the court.

Six months later the alleged attack came to light, when the boy, who cannot be named, was sent to hospital by his school for examination.

Describing the boy as a "household slave", Mr Price said: "He was forced to undertake chores, not ordinarily getting to bed until the early hours of the morning.

"After a mere five hours sleep he would then be sent to school. In addition, he was not allowed to use the toilet facilities. When, as a result, he soiled or wet himself this boy was forced to have a cold bath."

The trial continues.