Man guilty of trafficking girls in witchcraft trial

A man who trafficked two girls in and out of the UK for sexual abuse was jailed for 20 years yesterday. The girls alleged they were controlled by witchcraft.

Anthony Harrison, 32, from Stratford in east London, was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court.

His first victim, a 16-year-old girl, was sold by her uncle in Nigeria to two men and forced to undergo a "juju" ritual, which involved her body hair being shaved off, her flesh being cut, and her being shut in a coffin.

The girl was forced to prostitute herself and was taken to the UK in May 2009, being told that if she tried to escape the juju gods would kill her.

Harrison had planned to sell her in Spain, but once she arrived in Madrid she alerted authorities. This led to the rescue of another girl, who was 14.

Harrison was sentenced on two counts of conspiracy to traffic into the UK for sexual exploitation and one of false imprisonment.

The Met Police appealed for anybody who suspected trafficking to pass on information in confidence on 0800 783 2589.