Man who locked pair in loft jailed for modern slavery offences

Updated: 

A man has been jailed for modern slavery offences after locking two victims in his loft, using violence against them and controlling their ID documents.

Edward Zielinski exploited the two Polish nationals after the first victim came to the UK in 2008 and got into debt with the 42-year-old's cousin.

The unnamed man was forced to go to Nottingham to work for Zielinski to pay off his £700-800 debt.

In January 2016, he decided to escape and make himself homeless after Zielinski beat him with a plank of wood, Nottinghamshire Police said.

Police body-cam footage captured during a follow-up raid showed a second victim in Zielinski's loft with only a jacket to sleep under.

Between May 2013 and June 2017, the two victims were forced to urinate in bottles and one of them was forced to work up to 20 hours a day.

(Nottinghamshire Police/PA)
(Nottinghamshire Police/PA)

Zielinski, of Birkin Avenue, Hyson Green, Nottingham, had initially denied the two charges of human trafficking but pleaded guilty to the offences on October 18.

On Monday at Nottingham Crown Court, he was sentenced to 40 months in prison.

Detective Sergeant Mike Ebbins, who led the investigation, said: "In both cases Zielinski exploited them for his own financial interests.

"He saw an opportunity to make money out of vulnerable Polish men.

"They were incredibly vulnerable people - unemployed, alcohol dependent, and couldn't speak a word of English - so they were seen as perfect victims."