A white restaurant manager who enslaved a disabled black man and forced him to work more than 100 hours a week for no pay has been jailed for 10 years. 

Bobby Paul Edwards admitted to regularly beating John Christopher Smith with pots, pans, a belt and his fists. 

Mr Smith has an intellectual disability and an IQ of less than 70, according to a filing at the United States District Court of South Carolina.

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The document also revealed Edwards once dipped metal tongs into boiling grease and burned his neck.

Edwards also regularly used racial slurs and abusive language against the 39-year-old, while abusing him at the J&J Cafeteria in South Carolina.

“This abusive enslavement of a vulnerable person is shocking,” said FBI special agent Jody Norris after the sentencing. 

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World news in pictures

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World news in pictures

1/50 8 November 2019

Flames from an out of control bushfire from a nearby residential area in Harrington, northeast of Sydney. Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country

2/50 7 November 2019

Demonstrators shine lasers during a protest against Chile’s government in Santiago, the capital

3/50 6 November 2019

Activists from India’s main opposition Congress party shout slogans as they are stopped by police during a protest against what the activists say is economic slowdown in the country, in Guwahati, India

4/50 5 November 2019

Smoke rises from a fire in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. Firefighters worked hard to try and extinguish a fire at the Balogun market. Thick black smoke and flames shot from the five-story buildings as fire trucks attempted to get access

5/50 4 November 2019

Women run down a sand dune as they take part in the desert trek “Rose Trip Maroc” in the erg Chebbi near Merzouga. It is a female-oriented trek where teams of three must travel through the southern Moroccan Sahara desert with a compass, a map and a topographical reporter

6/50 3 November 2019

Riot police descend an escalator inside the City Plaza mall in Hong Kong after a bloody knife fight wounded six people there. A local pro-democracy politician had his ear bitten off during another chaotic day of political unrest in the city

7/50 2 November 2019

People participate in the celebration of the ‘muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle’, as part of the Day of the Dead in Mexico

8/50 1 November 2019

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California

9/50 31 October 2019

Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, over the Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland

10/50 30 October 2019

A model presents a creation at the show Heaven Gaia by Xiong Ying during the China Fashion Week in Beijing. The fashion event runs from 25 October to 2 November

11/50 29 October 2019

Hindu devotees collect rice as offerings on ‘Annakut’ or ‘Govardhan Puja’ festival at the Madan Mohan temple in Kolkata. People in large numbers gather at the temple to collect the rice offerings in the belief that it will keep them in good health and they’ll never face poverty or scarcity of food

12/50 28 October 2019

Authorities investigate after a Port Authority bus was caught in a sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

13/50 27 October 2019

South Africa players celebrate after beating Wales in their Rugby World Cup semi-final match. The Springboks will face England in next Saturday’s final following fly-half Handre Pollard’s match-winning penalty four minutes from time. The match ended 19-16

14/50 26 October 2019

Participants from Thailand pose in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei. Some two hundred thousand revellers marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage

15/50 25 October 2019

A girl enjoys a ball bath as she is being photographed at the made-for-Instagram museum ‘Cali Dreams’ in Dusseldorf, Germany. No artworks are shown in this museum, rather each visitor himself becomes an artwork by staging himself in front of one of the 25 sceneries. Cali Dreams is initially open for three months. After this test phase, however, the museum is planned as a long-term project

16/50 24 October 2019

A fire lorry speeds towards a rampant wildfire near Geyserville, California

17/50 23 October 2019

Protesters facing Lebanese army soldiers wave national flags in the area of Jal al-Dib in the northern outskirts of Beirut. A week of unprecedented street protests against the political class showed no signs of abating, despite the army moving to reopen key roads. Protests were sparked on October 17 by a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other messaging apps

18/50 22 October 2019

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to supporters beside his wife Sophie after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. He managed to hold on to power, albeit of a minority government, in one of the most divisive elections in the country’s history

19/50 21 October 2019

A convoy of US vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq

20/50 20 October 2019

Japan players go over to thank their fans after South Africa beat them in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup. Makazole Mapimpi double ended the hosts’ dreams in Tokyo 3-26. The Springboks will now face Wales in the semi-finals for a place in the final

21/50 19 October 2019

Archaeologists remove the cover of an ancient painted coffin discovered at Al-Asasif Necropolis in the Vally of Kings in Luxor, Egypt

22/50 18 October 2019

A protester throws a tire on a fire to block the highway north of Beirut, Lebanon. Protesters, mainly civil activists, started demonstrating in the downtown area on 17 October, condemning proposed taxes in the 2020 budget. An unexpected addition to impose a daily fee for using WhatsApp calls caused outrage. However, according to the Telecommunications Minister Mohamed Choucair, the charge will not make it through the government palace after the impact it has made on the streets

23/50 17 October 2019

Children watch as army tanks are transported on trucks in the outskirts of the town of Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border of Syria

24/50 16 October 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un riding a white horse amongst the first snow at Mouth Paektu

25/50 15 October 2019

Protesters create a burning barricade after the Supreme Court in Madrid handed lengthy prison sentences to nine of the detained Catalonian leaders for up to 13 years each

26/50 14 October 2019

Protestors light their torches during a peaceful rally in central Hong Kong’s business district. The protests that started in June over a now-shelved extradition bill have since snowballed into an anti-China campaign amid anger over what many view as Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s autonomy that was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

27/50 13 October 2019

Japan players celebrate victory after beating Scotland 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first ever time. The hosts head coach Jamie Joseph paid tribute to those who lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis

28/50 12 October 2019

Surging waves generated by typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Hagibis is the strongest storm to hit in six decades and battered the country’s main island with torrential rain and violent winds
Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in Sylmar, California

30/50 10 October 2019

People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey. An Associated Press journalist said at least two government buildings were hit by the mortars in Sanliurfa province’s border town of Akcakale and at least two people were wounded

31/50 9 October 2019

Policemen climb over a wall close to the site of a shooting where at least two people were killed at multiple locations in Germany, including near a synagogue in the city of Halle

32/50 8 October 2019

This multi-exposure picture shows USA’s Simone Biles performing on the beam during the women’s team final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart

33/50 7 October 2019

Extinction Rebellion activists block an intersection in Melbourne, Australia

34/50 6 October 2019

Protesters hold smoke grenades as they gather in central Kiev to demand broader autonomy for separatist territories, part of a plan to end a war with Russian-backed fighters

35/50 5 October 2019

Anti-government protesters rush to an injured man during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq

36/50 4 October 2019

Footage of a hugely rare polka dot zebra has been captured in Kenya. The foal was photographed in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

37/50 3 October 2019

A devotee dressed as the Hindu deity Maha Kali performs during Navratri festival celebrations in Ajmer in Rajasthan state, India

38/50 2 October 2019

A gust of wind lifts the cassock of Pope Francis during the weekly general audience at St.Peter’s square in the Vatican

39/50 1 October 2019

Protesters clash with an Iraqi riot police vehicle during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services in Baghdad

40/50 30 September 2019

A student protester throws a burning stick at riot police officers during a clash in Jakarta, Indonesia

41/50 29 September 2019

An anti-government protester wearing a mask depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is pushed away by riot police during a demonstration at Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong, China

42/50 28 September 2019

A Japan fan smiles before the Japan v Ireland Rugby World Cup match in Shizuoka, Japan

43/50 27 September 2019

The Duke of Sussex walks through a minefield in Dirico, Angola, during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust, on day five of the royal tour of Africa

44/50 26 September 2019

A policeman stands on a blocked road in Le Petit-Quevilly as smoke billows from a Lubrizol factory classified SEVESO high-threshold site. Residents of twelve towns including Rouen have been asked to stay at home after a fire broke out according to the prefect of Normandy

45/50 25 September 2019

Participants dressed in traditional attire pose for pictures during rehearsals for Garba, a folk dance, in preparations for the upcoming Navratri, a festival during which devotees worship the Hindu goddess Durga, in Ahmedabad, India

46/50 24 September 2019

A protester fires at riot police during university students’ protest outside the Indonesian Parliament in Jakarta

47/50 23 September 2019

Russia’s Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the Soyuz MS-15 space ship that will carry new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) is transported from its hangar to the launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The new Soyuz mission is scheduled on 25 September with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, US astronaut Jessica Meir and United Arab Emirates astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri

48/50 22 September 2019

An anti-government protester sets a fire during a rally outside the Mong Kok police station in Hong Kong

49/50 21 September 2019

New Zealand players perform the haka before their opening Rugby World Cup match against South Africa in Japan. The All Blacks secured a 23-13 victory over their rivals

50/50 20 September 2019

Thousands of school students and protesters gather in The Domain ahead of a climate strike rally in Sydney. Millions of people around the world are taking part in protests demanding action on climate issues. The Global Strike For Climate is being held only days ahead of the scheduled United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York

1/50 8 November 2019

Flames from an out of control bushfire from a nearby residential area in Harrington, northeast of Sydney. Australian firefighters warned they were in “uncharted territory” as they struggled to contain dozens of out-of-control bushfires across the east of the country

2/50 7 November 2019

Demonstrators shine lasers during a protest against Chile’s government in Santiago, the capital

3/50 6 November 2019

Activists from India’s main opposition Congress party shout slogans as they are stopped by police during a protest against what the activists say is economic slowdown in the country, in Guwahati, India

4/50 5 November 2019

Smoke rises from a fire in downtown Lagos, Nigeria. Firefighters worked hard to try and extinguish a fire at the Balogun market. Thick black smoke and flames shot from the five-story buildings as fire trucks attempted to get access

5/50 4 November 2019

Women run down a sand dune as they take part in the desert trek “Rose Trip Maroc” in the erg Chebbi near Merzouga. It is a female-oriented trek where teams of three must travel through the southern Moroccan Sahara desert with a compass, a map and a topographical reporter

6/50 3 November 2019

Riot police descend an escalator inside the City Plaza mall in Hong Kong after a bloody knife fight wounded six people there. A local pro-democracy politician had his ear bitten off during another chaotic day of political unrest in the city

7/50 2 November 2019

People participate in the celebration of the ‘muerteadas de Jalapa del Valle’, as part of the Day of the Dead in Mexico

8/50 1 November 2019

Firefighters work to control flames from a backfire during the Maria fire in Santa Paula, California

9/50 31 October 2019

Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights, over the Vestrahorn mountain in the east of Iceland

10/50 30 October 2019

A model presents a creation at the show Heaven Gaia by Xiong Ying during the China Fashion Week in Beijing. The fashion event runs from 25 October to 2 November

11/50 29 October 2019

Hindu devotees collect rice as offerings on ‘Annakut’ or ‘Govardhan Puja’ festival at the Madan Mohan temple in Kolkata. People in large numbers gather at the temple to collect the rice offerings in the belief that it will keep them in good health and they’ll never face poverty or scarcity of food

12/50 28 October 2019

Authorities investigate after a Port Authority bus was caught in a sinkhole in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

13/50 27 October 2019

South Africa players celebrate after beating Wales in their Rugby World Cup semi-final match. The Springboks will face England in next Saturday’s final following fly-half Handre Pollard’s match-winning penalty four minutes from time. The match ended 19-16

14/50 26 October 2019

Participants from Thailand pose in front of the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as they take part in the annual gay pride parade in Taipei. Some two hundred thousand revellers marched through Taipei in a riot of rainbow colours and celebration as Taiwan held its first pride parade since making history in Asia by legalising gay marriage

15/50 25 October 2019

A girl enjoys a ball bath as she is being photographed at the made-for-Instagram museum ‘Cali Dreams’ in Dusseldorf, Germany. No artworks are shown in this museum, rather each visitor himself becomes an artwork by staging himself in front of one of the 25 sceneries. Cali Dreams is initially open for three months. After this test phase, however, the museum is planned as a long-term project

16/50 24 October 2019

A fire lorry speeds towards a rampant wildfire near Geyserville, California

17/50 23 October 2019

Protesters facing Lebanese army soldiers wave national flags in the area of Jal al-Dib in the northern outskirts of Beirut. A week of unprecedented street protests against the political class showed no signs of abating, despite the army moving to reopen key roads. Protests were sparked on October 17 by a proposed tax on WhatsApp and other messaging apps

18/50 22 October 2019

Liberal leader and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to supporters beside his wife Sophie after the federal election at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. He managed to hold on to power, albeit of a minority government, in one of the most divisive elections in the country’s history

19/50 21 October 2019

A convoy of US vehicles is seen after withdrawing from northern Syria, on the outskirts of Dohuk, Iraq

20/50 20 October 2019

Japan players go over to thank their fans after South Africa beat them in the quarter-final of the Rugby World Cup. Makazole Mapimpi double ended the hosts’ dreams in Tokyo 3-26. The Springboks will now face Wales in the semi-finals for a place in the final

21/50 19 October 2019

Archaeologists remove the cover of an ancient painted coffin discovered at Al-Asasif Necropolis in the Vally of Kings in Luxor, Egypt

22/50 18 October 2019

A protester throws a tire on a fire to block the highway north of Beirut, Lebanon. Protesters, mainly civil activists, started demonstrating in the downtown area on 17 October, condemning proposed taxes in the 2020 budget. An unexpected addition to impose a daily fee for using WhatsApp calls caused outrage. However, according to the Telecommunications Minister Mohamed Choucair, the charge will not make it through the government palace after the impact it has made on the streets

23/50 17 October 2019

Children watch as army tanks are transported on trucks in the outskirts of the town of Akcakale, in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border of Syria

24/50 16 October 2019

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un riding a white horse amongst the first snow at Mouth Paektu

25/50 15 October 2019

Protesters create a burning barricade after the Supreme Court in Madrid handed lengthy prison sentences to nine of the detained Catalonian leaders for up to 13 years each

26/50 14 October 2019

Protestors light their torches during a peaceful rally in central Hong Kong’s business district. The protests that started in June over a now-shelved extradition bill have since snowballed into an anti-China campaign amid anger over what many view as Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s autonomy that was granted when the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997

27/50 13 October 2019

Japan players celebrate victory after beating Scotland 28-21 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup for the first ever time. The hosts head coach Jamie Joseph paid tribute to those who lost their lives in Typhoon Hagibis

28/50 12 October 2019

Surging waves generated by typhoon Hagibis hit the seashore in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Hagibis is the strongest storm to hit in six decades and battered the country’s main island with torrential rain and violent winds
Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in Sylmar, California

30/50 10 October 2019

People run to take cover after mortars fired from Syria, in Akcakale, Turkey. An Associated Press journalist said at least two government buildings were hit by the mortars in Sanliurfa province’s border town of Akcakale and at least two people were wounded

31/50 9 October 2019

Policemen climb over a wall close to the site of a shooting where at least two people were killed at multiple locations in Germany, including near a synagogue in the city of Halle

32/50 8 October 2019

This multi-exposure picture shows USA’s Simone Biles performing on the beam during the women’s team final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Stuttgart

33/50 7 October 2019

Extinction Rebellion activists block an intersection in Melbourne, Australia

34/50 6 October 2019

Protesters hold smoke grenades as they gather in central Kiev to demand broader autonomy for separatist territories, part of a plan to end a war with Russian-backed fighters

35/50 5 October 2019

Anti-government protesters rush to an injured man during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq

36/50 4 October 2019

Footage of a hugely rare polka dot zebra has been captured in Kenya. The foal was photographed in the Maasai Mara National Reserve

37/50 3 October 2019

A devotee dressed as the Hindu deity Maha Kali performs during Navratri festival celebrations in Ajmer in Rajasthan state, India

38/50 2 October 2019

A gust of wind lifts the cassock of Pope Francis during the weekly general audience at St.Peter’s square in the Vatican

39/50 1 October 2019

Protesters clash with an Iraqi riot police vehicle during a demonstration against state corruption and poor services in Baghdad

40/50 30 September 2019

A student protester throws a burning stick at riot police officers during a clash in Jakarta, Indonesia

41/50 29 September 2019

An anti-government protester wearing a mask depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is pushed away by riot police during a demonstration at Causeway Bay district in Hong Kong, China

42/50 28 September 2019

A Japan fan smiles before the Japan v Ireland Rugby World Cup match in Shizuoka, Japan

43/50 27 September 2019

The Duke of Sussex walks through a minefield in Dirico, Angola, during a visit to see the work of landmine clearance charity the Halo Trust, on day five of the royal tour of Africa

44/50 26 September 2019

A policeman stands on a blocked road in Le Petit-Quevilly as smoke billows from a Lubrizol factory classified SEVESO high-threshold site. Residents of twelve towns including Rouen have been asked to stay at home after a fire broke out according to the prefect of Normandy

45/50 25 September 2019

Participants dressed in traditional attire pose for pictures during rehearsals for Garba, a folk dance, in preparations for the upcoming Navratri, a festival during which devotees worship the Hindu goddess Durga, in Ahmedabad, India

46/50 24 September 2019

A protester fires at riot police during university students’ protest outside the Indonesian Parliament in Jakarta

47/50 23 September 2019

Russia’s Soyuz-FG booster rocket with the Soyuz MS-15 space ship that will carry new crew to the International Space Station (ISS) is transported from its hangar to the launch pad at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. The new Soyuz mission is scheduled on 25 September with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, US astronaut Jessica Meir and United Arab Emirates astronaut Hazza Al Mansouri

48/50 22 September 2019

An anti-government protester sets a fire during a rally outside the Mong Kok police station in Hong Kong

49/50 21 September 2019

New Zealand players perform the haka before their opening Rugby World Cup match against South Africa in Japan. The All Blacks secured a 23-13 victory over their rivals

50/50 20 September 2019

Thousands of school students and protesters gather in The Domain ahead of a climate strike rally in Sydney. Millions of people around the world are taking part in protests demanding action on climate issues. The Global Strike For Climate is being held only days ahead of the scheduled United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York

Eric Dreiband, US assistant attorney general for the civil rights division, added: “It is almost inconceivable that instances of forced labour endure in this country to this day – a century and a half after the Emancipation Proclamation.”

Mr Smith began working at the J&J Cafeteria as a dishwasher in 1996, the filing said. He was 12 at the time he was employed by Edwards’ family.

He was initially paid for his work, but said Edwards began abusing him after becoming manager of the business, which is owned by his brother Ernest. 

“I could get along with his wife, his momma, his daddy, his cousin, his brother … I could get along with all of them … but I couldn’t get along with him,” Mr Smith told the ABC 15 News channel. 

Edwards began the physical and emotional abuse whenever Mr Smith worked slowly.

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He also forced Mr Smith to live in a small room behind the restaurant.

Eventually, Geneane Caines, a customer and local resident, reported his behaviour to the authorities.

“Chris came out of the kitchen and put some food down on the bar. He leaned one way over and when he did, I could see a scar on his neck,” she said.

By the time officials removed Smith from the restaurant in October 2014, he had been abused for 17 years.

Bobby Paul Edwards was sentenced to 10 years in prison (J Reuben Long Detention Centre)

The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) assisted him and he has since worked at other local restaurants in the city of Conway.

Charged with forced labour, Edwards pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 10 years in prison earlier this week. 

He was also ordered to pay $272,952 (£213,000) in damages to the victim.

“I wanted to get out of there a long time ago. But I didn’t have nobody I could go to,” Mr Smith said. “I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t see none of my family so that was that. That’s the main basic thing I wanted to see was my mom come see me. I couldn’t see my mom … and I couldn’t talk to nobody.”

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Mr Smith alleges that other members of the Edwards family knew about the manager’s behaviour.

“All of them knew. They knew what he was doing,” he said.

Edwards, Ernest Edwards and the restaurant are also facing a federal civil lawsuit over the case.

J&J Cafeteria is under new management but is still owned by the Edwards family.