Traveller family 'forced man to work as a slave'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A destitute man was plucked from the streets by a Traveller family, forced to work as a "slave" and "mentally tortured", a court heard yesterday.

The man told Luton Crown Court that he was living in a hotel early last year when he was stopped by two Travellers in Wembley and offered an £80-a-day job. He said he agreed as it sounded like "good money", but was taken to a Traveller site in Bedfordshire, coerced into performing hard labour and never paid a penny. Prosecutors say he was among dozens of homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts controlled, exploited, verbally abused and beaten by seven members of the Connors family.

The family deny servitude and forced labour charges. The accused are Tommy Connors Snr, 52, Johnny, 28, James, 24, Josie, 30, Tommy Jnr, 26, and Patrick, 20, and James John, 34.

The court heard police found men living in squalor at the Green Acres caravan park last September. The charges relate to eight alleged victims. The trial continues.