A FATHER and son have been jailed for a total of 16 years after keeping a vulnerable man as a ‘slave’ for two years.
The victim was subjected to repeated beatings and “there was not a part of his body uninjured.”
Anthony Baker, aged 49, previously pleaded guilty to holding a man in servitude and subjecting him to forced or compulsory labour contrary to the Modern Slavery Act as well as four counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, one count of unlawful wounding, and one count of inflicting grievous bodily harm. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus an additional five years on licence.
Harvey Baker, aged 19, previously pleaded guilty to six counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, three of inflicting grievous bodily harm, and one of unlawful wounding. He was sentenced to six years in a young offenders institute.
Acting Detective Sergeant Heather Southway said: “In all my years’ service it has been one of the most emotionally impactive cases I have dealt with.
“The defendants have shown no remorse for their actions in targeting a young and vulnerable victim and subjecting him to over two years of physical and emotional abuse.
“His injuries were horrendous and there wasn’t a part of his body which wasn’t injured. As well regularly being beaten with items such as a metal pole he was also forced to carry out work for them and was living in squalor. “
Detectives quickly arrested Anthony Baker and later his son and the full horror of the victim’s ordeal started to emerge.
ADS Southway added: “It is unbelievable that two people could treat another human in this way.
“I would like to praise the bravery of the victim and witnesses in this case for having the courage to stand up and provide evidence that has led to the successful conclusion of the case.
“I hope today’s sentencing brings some closure and comfort for the victim and his family as they attempt to move forward with their lives.”
Force lead for Modern Slavery, ACC Jonathan Drake said: “Modern day slavery is an incredibly complex crime to unravel and it is vital that we increase the eyes and ears capable of recognising the signs of symptoms.
“It is often referred to as a ‘hidden crime’. Victims often do not perceive themselves as being victims, or may be unwilling to seek help.
“It is not limited to cities or industrial areas. These crimes happen to men, women and children and could be taking place on any street in the UK, so it’s important that we all know what signs to look out for.
“We would urge anyone with any concerns about how a person is being treated they should call us or contact the Modern Slavery helplinehttps://www.modernslaveryhelpline.org/“
For more information on the signs of modern day slavery go to https://www.south-wales.police.uk/en/advice/modern-slavery/