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Three men sentenced for modern slavery offences

14/06/2017

Three Polish nationals have today (14 June) been sentenced for modern slavery offences, after they trafficked workers to the UK and forced them to live in poverty and fear.

The vulnerable victims were tricked into travelling to Newcastle with the promise of well-paid work but their captors confiscated their identification documents and bank cards and took a large proportion of their wages.

Robert Dolinski, 38, Andrzej Laskowski, 37, and Kewin Laskowski, 19, all pleaded guilty to modern slavery offences at an earlier hearing. Two women, Maria Pawlowska, 34, and Agnieszka Laskowska, 34, admitted fraud.

During their sentencing, Leeds Crown Court heard that the victims who came to the UK spoke little English. Their captors told them they were in debt for their travel and lodging, but the amounts owed were never made clear. Some of the victims were charged three or four times the appropriate rent for their accommodation.

One man tried to escape but was captured and beaten. Another was punched in the face after he refused to decorate his flat.

Jim Hope, from the CPS, said: "The treatment of these vulnerable people was shocking. Every aspect of their lives was controlled. They were told where they could travel, where they were permitted to shop and faced the threat of violence if they failed to comply.

"The victims lived and worked alongside colleagues in factories and warehouses and yet were so terrified, they were extremely reluctant to tell anyone about their plight.

"We want to reassure victims of trafficking they are not alone and if they do come forward they will be supported. It's thanks to the bravery of the witnesses involved that the CPS, working with our criminal justice partners, was able to secure these sentences."

Ends

Notes to Editors

  1. Jim Hope is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service in the North East.
  2. Counts and sentences are as follows:
    1. Kewin Laskowski - Conspiracy to arrange travel of another person for exploitation (Guilty plea) - 12 months at a young offenders institute
    2. Adrzej Laskowski - Conspiracy to arrange travel of another person for exploitation (Guilty plea). Conspiracy to require a person to perform compulsory labour (Guilty plea). - 2 years and 8 months imprisonment
    3. Robert Dolinski - Conspiracy to arrange travel of another person for exploitation (Guilty plea). Conspiracy to require a person to perform compulsory labour (Guilty plea). - 3 years and 2 months imprisonment
    4. Maria Pawlowska and Agnieszka Laskowska - Fraud by false representation (Guilty pleas) Both were given six months, but had already served more than that in custody, so were released.
  3. For the latest in breaking news from the CPS Press Office follow @cpsuk on Twitter and visit our official News Brief - blog.cps.gov.uk
  4. For media enquiries call the CPS Press Office on 020 3357 0906. Out of Hours - 07590 617233