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Landlord who ‘preyed on the weak’ gets eight years

16 June 2017

A Nottingham landlord was yesterday sentenced to eight years in prison after earlier pleading guilty to a number of modern slavery and fraud offences.

Sajmon Brzezinski had admitted human trafficking, two counts of forced labour and fraud at Nottingham Crown Court earlier this month.

On sentencing him yesterday, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC said: “By your persistent criminal activities you have degraded the lives of two men who were not strangers to you, which in some ways makes what you did even more reprehensible.

“You knew each of them to be vulnerable and were prepared to prey on their weaknesses.”

Brzezinski was also given a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order to stop him from committing any similar offences in the future.

The court heard how the 43-year-old, formerly of Overdale Road in Old Basford, had trafficked a vulnerable man to Nottingham and forced him to work to fund his lavish lifestyle.

He'd also tricked a second vulnerable man - who considered himself a member of the defendant’s family after being taken from an orphanage - into handing over most of the money he earned.

The court heard both men were employed through an agency and worked full time in warehousing and on a local farm earning between £200 and £400 per week. But they were given allowances of just £20-£30 a week to buy food and clothes.

Meanwhile, Brzezinski's home in Poland was a ‘palace’ with 50 windows. He also owned more than five cars and four properties in Nottingham - despite not having worked for the last five years.

An investigation was launched after a co-worker reported concerns about the wellbeing of one of the victims to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.

A Nottinghamshire Police investigation followed with assistance from the GLAA, the National Crime Agency and Nottingham City Council.

Judge Rafferty also told the court that the men’s lives had changed dramatically since they had been freed from the clutches of Brzezinski.

Referring to one of the rescued workers, he said: “Now he is free and has access to his own money he says he ‘feels like a new-born’.”

After passing sentence the judge also commended the work of investigating officers DC Claire Reilly and Mary Gaskin of the GLAA, stating: “Their labours in this case went over and beyond.”

Speaking after Brzezinski entered his guilty plea, Detective Constable Claire Reilly of Nottinghamshire Police said: “This type of crime is one of the worst that exists in modern society and what is often most shocking is that it is happening in the midst of our towns and cities and is hidden in plain sight. I would ask that anybody who has any concerns that a person may be being exploited in this way contact the police."

GLAA Head of Operations Ian Waterfield added: “This was an excellent example of how the GLAA works in partnership to prevent the exploitation of vulnerable people.

“Immediately the farm supervisors became aware of the plight of these victims we were called in and made sure they were safe. We informed the police and Brzezinski was arrested and in prison within days. It was a very well-run investigation and has resulted in justice being dished out for his despicable crime.”

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