Melton pair prosecuted under new slavery legislation

Court news.
Court news.

Two Melton people who police said kept a worker as a slave for about 10 years until their rescue have been made the subject of a risk order following a civil trial under the new slavery legislation.

Sidney and Sally Smith, of Nevada Park, Melton, have been handed the order – which means that restrictions and requirements are placed on the treatment of their employees and prevents offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

It’s the first case to be prosecuted in the East Midlands under this new legislation.

Leicestershire Police said the order was as a result of the discovery the pair were keeping a man as a slave, making him live in poor conditions and forcing him to work long hours for little or no pay at their mobile home park in Melton.

They said witness evidence indicated that the victim appeared malnourished and gaunt ‘like an image of someone in a concentration camp’ and was always seen wearing dirty clothes.

A force spokeswoman said: “The victim was kept as a slave for around 10 years and was ‘rescued’ in June 2015. “When his caravan, which was next to the defendants’ bungalow at the site, was visited by officers, it was deemed not fit for an animal to live in.”

Dc Jo Turnbull, who led the investigation, said: “Thanks to the efforts of a number of agencies – including the probation service, Melton Borough Council and voluntary agencies – it allowed this civil case to come to court.

“We have been able to challenge this behaviour and safeguard future workers at Nevada Park, ensuring no further offences are committed in the future.

“This case is the first case to be prosecuted in the East Midlands under this new legislation and it serves as a message to others that this behaviour will not be tolerated.

“If you think someone is being exploited and needs our help, contact us on 101.”