Four In Court On Slavery Charges

Four In Court On Slavery Charges

PRESS ASSOCIATION -- Four men are due to appear in court charged with slavery offences relating to four people found at a travellers' site.

Tommy Connors, 30, Patrick Connors, 19, James (Big Jim) Connors, 34, and James (Jimmy) Connors, 23, are accused of conspiracy to holding a person in servitude and requiring them to perform forced labour.

The charges follow an investigation by the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit and relate to alleged offences against four men at the Greenacres travellers' site in Bedfordshire.

The four defendants all live at the site, in Great Billington, Leighton Buzzard, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

A fifth person who was arrested alongside the men on Sunday morning - a heavily pregnant woman - was released on bail and will be questioned further after the birth of her child, Bedfordshire Police said.

Adrian Roberts, head of the CPS Thames and Chiltern Complex Casework Unit, said: "These charges relate to four victims who allege they have been held against their will and forced to live and work like slaves. Police investigations into other offences relating to other potential victims at Greenacres are ongoing, further to the police raid on Sunday, September 11."

The four men will appear at Luton Magistrates Court.

The men were arrested during an early-morning raid on the caravan site by more than 200 police officers.

The raid followed a long-running investigation by the force which suggested 24 men were being held against their will in squalid conditions at the site, and forced to work for no pay.

The men were taken from the site to a medical centre. Police said they were mostly from English and eastern European backgrounds. A Bedfordshire police spokesman said that nine people had left the medical centre and had "chosen not to support the police investigation".


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