Man admits two offences of modern slavery

Nottingham Crown Court

A 42-year-old man has today admitted two modern slavery offences.

Edward Zielinski, of Birkin Avenue, Hyson Green, exploited two vulnerable Polish nationals, using violence to control their ID documents and forcing them to work for little or no money.

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Zielinski would even lock his victims in the loft during the night forcing them to urinate in plastic bottles rather than wake him and his wife.

Nottinghamshire Police’s modern slavery team was made aware of the first victim through a national referral mechanism and visited him at a detention centre at Gatwick. They then provided him with safe secure accommodation and access to interpreters where his full account was provided.

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A warrant was conducted by the team, leading to the discovery of a second victim locked in the loft. Both victims remain with the Salvation Army charity receiving support.

The offences took place between 31 May 2013 and 1 June 2017, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

Zielinski had initially denied the two charges of human trafficking but today (Wednesday 18 October) admitted the offences. He was remanded in custody for sentencing on 30 October.

The guilty plea comes on the day Nottinghamshire Police and a range of partners launched a campaign calling for individuals, businesses and public bodies to help make Nottinghamshire slavery free by spotting the signs and reporting their suspicions.

Detective Sergeant Mike Ebbins, who led the investigation, said: “This was a complex case which overlapped both the current and previous legislation which brought about its own challenges. I have now been lucky enough to be involved in a number of successful modern slavery investigations and Nottinghamshire as a force has now had eight successful court convictions. Some forces are yet to have their first. The investigation of these offences is something our force are leading the way with.”

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Anyone who would like to report suspicions about modern slavery should call the Modern Slavery Helpline on 08000 121 700 or Nottinghamshire Police on 101.