Father and son sentenced in slavery case

|News, Violent crime

A father and son who ran a scrap metal business have been jailed for a total of 21 years for repeatedly assaulting a vulnerable man being forced to work for them.

Anthony Baker, 49, ran the scrap business in Jersey Marine along with his son Harvey Baker, 19, where the victim was living and forced to work without any payment.

Following complaints from the public, police attended the yard in January 2019 and found the victim working. He had extensive bruising and could not speak clearly due to his facial injuries which included a broken jaw.

He later told police that he would work all day and received no payment other than tinned food. He explained that he would be beaten “every day” sometimes with a scaffolding bar.

Catrin Attwell of the CPS said: ”Anthony and Harvey Baker exploited the victim’s vulnerability and routinely assaulted him over a significant period of time.

“The victim had his jaw fractured, nose bitten and was hit with weapons resulting in extensive injuries.

“When faced with the evidence, Anthony Baker accepted he had forced the man to work for him.

“It is difficult to imagine the pain the victim endured whilst living at the scrap yard.

“Modern slavery is a despicable crime. It is hard to believe slavery is happening in our communities but this case reminds us that it does.

“I would like to thank the victim and witnesses for their continued support which has been key in bringing the case to court.”

Anthony Baker was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment whilst Harvey Baker was sentenced to six years’ detention at a Young Offenders Institution.

Building the case

The strength of the evidence presented by the CPS at an early stage led to guilty pleas. This included a video taken by a neighbour showing Anthony Baker’s aggressive behaviour towards the victim, in the presence of Harvey Baker, detailed medical evidence and photographs of the victim’s living conditions.

Body-worn camera footage recorded the police attendance at the yard, showing the victim with extensive facial injuries. The footage assisted in demonstrating the level of control the defendants, in particular Anthony Baker, had over the victim.

The victim’s statement was video recorded and an intermediary was used. The traumatic detail of the abuse he suffered was significant in securing the convictions.

Notes to editors

  • Catrin Attwell is a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the CPS Cymru-Wales Complex Casework Unit
  • Anthony Baker (DOB:05/05/1970) pleaded guilty to requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, inflicting grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm x 4 and unlawful wounding. The offences took place between 24 October 2016 and 31 January 2019
  • Harvey Baker (DOB: 14/07/1999) pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm x 6, unlawful wounding and inflicting grievous bodily harm x 3. The offences took place between 24 October 2016 and 31 January 2019
  • Sentence took place at Swansea Crown Court on 14 June 2019.

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