Man jailed for blackmail and false imprisonment of teenage girl - Cheshunt

01/03/2013

A man who organised the false imprisonment of a 17-year-old Cheshunt girl who was threatened with torture, was today, Friday, 01 March 2013, jailed for ten years.

Godwin Klevoo, 48, was said to have issued instructions from his home in Ghana that the terrified girl be tortured every five minutes until she revealed what had happened to £25,000 he claimed he had entrusted her with.

Back at the house in Tottenham where she was held for 48 hours, her captors set light to one of her acrylic fingernails and held the blade of a knife to her hand, Luton Crown Court was told.

The events happened back in October 2008 and three men who held her captive were each jailed for 14 years in 2010. They admitted they had used her to try and import cocaine from Ghana, but the drugs had disappeared from her suitcase.

But Klevoo, who denied any knowledge of the drug element, said the girl was bringing cash into the country on his behalf for a business deal, but it never arrived, said Michael Speak prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution SErvice (CPS).

The defendant was arrested on 02 April last year when he arrived at Heathrow airport on a visa to visit his wife, who is believed to be a UK resident.

He pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and blackmail, in relation to the girl, and threats to kill and intimidation to her father, which took place after the girl had been freed, but while he was still trying to recover his money.

Mr. Speak said in October 2008 the father contacted police to say he believed his daughter had been kidnapped.

"Police were able to establish that she was being held at a house in Tower Gardens Road, Tottenham and on 21 October a large number of armed police burst into the house and took her into their care."

She had recently returned from Ghana where she had met Klevoo, and had been met at the airport on her return and taken to the house. While she was held there various threats were made to her, including that some Jamaican men would come for her, which in fact happened for a short while.

She told police that the men were taking instructions from Klevoo in Ghana and the phone calls were played on the phone's loudspeaker device so she could hear them.

Mr. Speak said the girl was at first taken into protective custody and was later a witness at a trial, but she now lived in another part of the country and had never been back to her family home as it was still felt unsafe to do so.

Jailing Klevoo, Judge Philip Bartle QC said: "The impact on this family has been severe. She is now in her early 20s and has never returned to her father's house. How tragic that must be.

"She feels ashamed and lonely and says her personality has changed and she now trusts nobody.

"This was an appalling episode. I disregard any previous suggestion that you were involved in drugs and it is your contention that you gave her money in Ghana, you say £25,000, and that she kept it.

"That is what caused you to orchestrate what happened to her. You were the organiser and controller, and you made it clear to her father that she would not be released until you got your money.

"She must have been absolutely terrified and her father was pleading with you again and again for the release of his daughter.

"Even after she was released you told him that you could kill her spiritually and get people to kill her physically."

Michael Boardman, defending said: "This was not carefully planned and she went to the house willingly.

"In Ghana he was the sole carer for his 75-year-old mother and he is extremely fearful that a long prison sentence may mean he will never see her again."

The men who were jailed in 2010 for false imprisonment, blackmail and conspiracy to import cocaine were David Bonsouw, 36, from Morley Avenue, Edmonton; Charles El Mawas, 20, from Hallfield Estate, Westminster, and Kwadwo Agyei, 24, from Tower Gardens Road, Tottenham.

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