Nottingham

Child slave demands Nottinghamshire County Council apology

Terry Lodge
Image caption Terry Lodge said he was beaten and sometimes starved while living with his original foster family

A man claiming he was forced to work as a child slave after being taken into foster care is demanding an apology from his local authority.

Terry Lodge, from Bassetlaw, said he was first made to work on a farm and then in a foundry, when he should have been in school.

He says as a result he cannot read and wants Nottinghamshire County Council to provide help to teach him.

The authority said it was taking all Mr Lodge's allegations "very seriously".

His local Labour MP John Mann has highlighted his case in parliament.

Mr Lodge said he was sent out to work on a farm when he was aged eight, and sent to work in a foundry when he was 11.

The 55-year-old said he was forced to work by his original foster parents, up until the age of 15, and was beaten and sometimes starved while in their care.

But, when he complained, he said no-one came to help.

"I told them all and every time it was classed as lies," he said.

"They spoiled my childhood and my adult life - everything."

Image caption Terry Lodge said his duties at the foundry included holding the smelting pot whilst it was being poured

Steve Edwards, of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: "We take all of Mr Lodge's allegations very seriously and have allocated him a social worker so that we can listen to him and better understand his childhood.

"We have also put in place a number of adult literacy sessions to support Mr Lodge."

But Bassetlaw MP Mr Mann said the council had only provided Mr Lodge with five literacy sessions to date.

The authority said it has now offered a further 15 sessions, with more available if required.

Mr Mann added: "The whole issue of children being sold on to farms as slave labour is a scandal yet to emerge in this country.

"It shows the level of depravity that was there - but also the collusion."

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