Issued on 11/10/17 at 3:53 p.m.
Two Hungarian nationals who were subjected to months of forced labour and poor living conditions were the focus of a court hearing today (Wednesday 11 October).
The victims were both living in Hungary when they were made aware of an opportunity to earn a living in the UK. They were offered living accommodation and a regular salary for manual work.
One of the victims arrived in the UK about six years ago and initially settled in Sheffield but he was told of a work opportunity in Leicester so decided to move to the area.
Quickly life changed for him and he worked long hours and wasn’t paid. If he refused to go to work he was assaulted and wasn’t allowed out of the property.
At a hearing at Birmingham Crown Court today the defendant, Kazmer Kolompar, 43, of HMP Birmingham, pleaded guilty to holding a person in servitude and a further related offence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. He is due to be sentenced on Friday 10 November.
In 2015 Kolompar contacted the second victim in Hungary and told him he could earn four times as much in the UK and could come and live with him.
Again, for the first few weeks life was fine for the victim but then it changed. He worked and wasn’t paid, he was given very little food and whenever he asked for his salary he was assaulted.
Detective Constable Jo Turnbull is from the force’s modern day slavery team. She said: “This was an extremely difficult case to investigate. The victims were both very traumatised by what they were subjected to. They never ever thought that they would be living in such conditions or made to work for little or no money.
“We are pleased Kolompar has admitted to the offences which has meant the victims didn’t have to relive his crimes in the court room.
“The Modern Slavery Act has only been in existence for the last two years and this is the first prosecution in our force area under this legislation.
“The individuals who commit such offences prey on people’s vulnerabilities and offer them a life they could only dream of. In reality this isn’t the case and many victims are left distraught.
“We will continue to work tirelessly to bring the perpetrators to justice and would encourage anyone who has any suspicions about a friend or neighbour who may be a victim of such crime to contact us.”