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7 February 2019, 17:35 | Updated: 7 February 2019, 17:37
A man and woman from Bristol have been found guilty of modern slavery offences against their housemate.
Ion Boboc, 26 and Christiana Tudor-Dobre, 24, were convicted of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and fraud. A third man was acquitted of similar charges.
The court heard the 31 year old victim was forced to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs and was not allowed to use the bathroom or the kitchen table. He ate and washed himself, his clothes and his dishes outside in the garden and witnesses said they saw him drinking from a hosepipe.
The jury also heard the victim was filmed being made to eat highly spiced food and being ordered to dance and carry out physical challenges. The defendants were recorded mocking and laughing at him.
Boboc and Tudor-Dobre also controlled the victim’s money and took out loans and contracts for things like mobile phones in his name.
Police were made aware of the crime after an anonymous call to the Modern Slavery Hotline in July 2018.
The vulnerable man is now is a place of safety being offered support.
Boboc and Tudor-Dobre will be sentenced in March.
Ben Samples, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “I would like to commend the victim for the incredible strength and bravery he showed in giving evidence and supporting the prosecution, despite the degrading treatment he suffered at the hands of the defendants.
“I would also like to thank the members of the public who contacted the police with their concerns. Modern slavery often takes place out of sight, and it is only with the support of such witnesses that we will defeat it in the UK.
“Finally, I would like to give credit to Avon and Somerset Police, who acted swiftly following the report and built a strong case against the defendants, working in partnership with the CPS South West Complex Case Unit.”
Officer in the case PC Roger Ibrahim said: “Without the information through the Modern Slavery Hotline this abuse would still be happening. When we found this man he appeared underfed and was suffering from sores on his feet. No one should be treated in this way.
“We’re very grateful to the anonymous person who alerted us to this situation. If you’re worried that someone is being subjected to modern day slavery, please contact us, either by calling 101 or through the helpline number 08000 121 700.”