Brian, a 30-year-old British man from Kidderminster, had been reported missing in 2000 having failed to return home from a seaside trip to Porthcawl in South Wales. He had been picked up on a dual carriageway and offered work at a horse farm in Newport.
The ‘work’ turned out to be forced labour and his accommodation was a rat-infested shed with no washing facilities. He was usually forced to work 14 hours each day, seven days a week and, during the 13 years he was forced to work at the farm, he received no pay.
His family eventually tracked him down with the help of Gwent Police and he was rescued in 2013. When he was found his family didn’t recognise him, as during the 13 years he had been held at the farm his health had deteriorated badly. He suffered a fractured hip falling from a horse, a chest infection, a hernia and calloused feet.
Gwent Police arrested a number of people following a complex and lengthy investigation. In October 2014, a 42-year-old man was sentenced at Cardiff Crown Court to four-and-a-half years in prison for forced labour exploitation related offences.
This case drew on a multi-agency response led by Gwent Police and involved a number of other police forces from across the UK, the UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC), local authorities, health services, the Red Cross and BAWSO, a Welsh Government accredited support provider.
As part of Gwent Police’s investigation, a number of other victims were identified and prosecutions have been brought against the accused.
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