Nottingham

Man who sent worker to Sports Direct guilty of forced labour

Dariusz and Bozena Parczewski Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Dariusz and Bozena Parczewski went missing before the trial

A man who supplied a Polish worker to the Sports Direct headquarters has been found guilty of forced labour and fraud.

Dariusz Parczewski kept men in squalid caravans outside homes in Nottingham and his family kept their pay.

Det Insp Gareth Harding, from Nottinghamshire Police, said "nearly £1m" in "fraudulent" benefits was paid into accounts they controlled.

The Parczewskis went missing before the trial at Nottingham Crown Court.

Polish authorities have been contacted and applications have been made for a European Arrest Warrant.

Parczewski, 48, recruited men in Poland with offers of houses and well-paid jobs, but forced them to work, held their benefits and assaulted them.

Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption The court heard the men were brought over from Poland on the promise of well-paid jobs
Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption The men were kept in cramped conditions in caravans outside the Parczewski's homes

The court heard the Parczewskis set up bank accounts for the men to claim a range of benefits, but kept their banks cards and withdrew the money themselves.

One man was made to work at Sports Direct's Shirebrook facility, but had most of his wages held by Dariusz.

It is the third modern slavery case this year involving workers employed by agencies at Sports Direct, though the company is not accused of any crime.

The men were crammed into caravans outside the family's homes, the court heard.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The men were held in caravans kept outside houses in the Aspley area of Nottingham
Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption While workers were kept in caravans. the Parczewskis lived in lavish surroundings

Dariusz's wife Bozena, 47, was also found to have taken part in the crimes by the jury, but she was not deemed fit enough to stand trial.

Their son Krystian, 29, was found guilty of fraud.

Det Insp Harding said "potentially 50 names" of largely eastern European origins were used.

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