Man pleads guilty to slavery and trafficking offences in Cumbria

A man has admitted exploiting a vulnerable worker who lived in a six-foot shed on a caravan park for 40 years, the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) has reported.

Peter Swailes entered a guilty plea when he appeared before Carlisle Crown Court yesterday [18 January]. Swailes, of Cryndlbeck Stables, Low Harker, Carlisle, was released on bail to appear before the same court for sentencing on 4 February, the GLAA said.

The victim was rescued during an operation in 2018 carried out by the GLAA, Cumbria Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

A search warrant was executed at the Hadrian’s Caravan Park near Carlisle on 3 October, and the defendant’s father, also Peter Swailes, was arrested in his static caravan on suspicion of offences under the Modern Slavery Act 2015. 

Swailes senior died last year aged 81, shortly before standing trial.

The victim was accepted into the government’s National Referral Mechanism (NRM) on the same day he was rescued and continues to receive specialist support now. He lives in supported accommodation outside of Cumbria, the GLAA said.

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