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Slave labour Traveller clan facing prison

A Traveller family who led a luxurious lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable men who they forced to work for a pittance were facing jail today.

William Connors (52) his wife Mary (48) sons John (29) and James (20) and son-in-law Miles Connors (24) enjoyed luxury cars and expensive holidays.

To help them sustain their lifestyle, the family picked up men -- often drifters or addicts -- to work for them as labourers.

The victims lived in squalid caravans on Traveller sites as they moved around the country working on the Connors' paving and patio businesses.



Buckets

Some were also ordered to perform humiliating tasks, such as emptying buckets used as toilets by their bosses.

Many were beaten, hit with broom handles, belts, a rake and shovel, and punched and kicked by the Connors.

"It caused fear in the men," prosecutor Christopher Quinlan told Bristol Crown Court.

The men were paid as little as £5 for a day's hard labour on jobs that would earn the family several thousand pounds.

They were given so little food they resorted to scavenging from dustbins at supermarkets.

In contrast, the Connors lived in large, well-appointed caravans fitted with smart kitchens and flat-screen televisions.

They had holidays including a trip to Dubai and a 10-day cruise around the Caribbean on the Queen Mary 2.

They had built up a mounting property portfolio potentially now worth millions of pounds.

This included one house with a hot-tub and flat-screen television and bank accounts containing over £500,000.

The Connors, of Staverton, Gloucestershire; and Miles Connors, of Bradford, West Yorkshire were remanded in custody until sentencing on Tuesday.

hnews@herald.ie


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