South East Wales

Forced work trial: Darrell Simester scared of being hurt

Darrell Simester Image copyright Wales News Service
Image caption Darrell Simester had been missing for 13 years

A vulnerable man allegedly forced to work on a Newport farm for 13 years has told a jury he was scared of being hurt by the farm's owners after he ran away once.

Darrell Simester, 44, told Cardiff Crown Court they came after him and took him back to the farm.

He said he did not leave the farm again because he was scared.

Daniel Doran, 67, and David Daniel Doran, 42, deny requiring Mr Simester to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Giving evidence, Mr Simester, from Kidderminster in Worcestershire, told prosecuting barrister John Hipkin he had felt "scared, devastated" after he ran away from Cariad Farm in Peterstone with another man following a fire in the shed where he lived.

He was asked how he felt on the way back once David Daniel Doran had found him.

"Terrified," he replied, "of him hitting me or kicking me or whatever."

Mr Simester's brother Duncan broke down in court as he told of the moment he found him working on the farm.

He was pushing a wheelbarrow, was filthy, unshaven and wearing ripped clothes, and did not recognise his sibling, the court heard.

"I asked him if he wanted to see mum and dad. His reply was, 'How do you know mum and dad?'" said Duncan Simester.

"Because I am your brother" he had told him.

Image caption Daniel Doran, 67, and son David Daniel Doran both deny the charges

Duncan Simester said his brother continued to shovel muck as they talked and had seemed nervous.

"He was constantly looking over his right shoulder. He said, 'They're watching me. I can't talk to you'.

"I asked him if he wanted to come outside. He said he couldn't. I asked if he had a dinner break so we could meet in the pub. He said he couldn't," said Duncan Simester.

"He said if I came back later when it was dark he could possibly come out then [as] he would be locking up the gates."

'Bullied and brainwashed'

Under cross-examination, Duncan Simester said things "hadn't always been 100% hunky-dory" since the family was reunited in February last year and his brother had moved back in with his parents as he could not pay his rent.

The family fell out over his continued gambling and Duncan Simester had hit his brother because of it.

The court also heard from Mr Simester's mother, Jean, who said Darrell Simester's phone calls had stopped on Christmas Eve 2008.

Mrs Simester cried as she described her son looking like a "little old man" when he was found last year.

"He was dirty and smelly. He didn't look like the son I had. He looked like a man of 90 more than a lad of 43. I couldn't believe he was my son," she said.

Defence counsel Kevin Malloy suggested to her that it was Mr Simester's choice to move away and no longer contact the family.

But Mrs Simester was adamant her son was held against his will and said he had been "bullied and brainwashed".

The trial has been adjourned until 3 October.

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