South East Wales

Darrell Simester 'terrified' at 'forced work farm'

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Media captionDaniel Doran, 67, and son David Daniel Doran both deny the charges

A "terrified" vulnerable man was made to live in a shed while working unpaid for 13 years, a jury has heard.

Homeless Darrell Simester said he was picked up on a dual carriageway by the Doran family and taken to Cariad Farm, near Newport.

The 44-year-old told Cardiff Crown Court he carried on working the day after he fractured his hip.

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

The charges against the father and son cover a period between 2010 and 2013.

However, the court has heard how Mr Simester had been missing for 13 years, living on the Dorans' farm.

Giving evidence on Wednesday via a video link , Mr Simester told a jury that he had only two days off - once to attend a fair in Brecon, Powys, and once to go out for a New Year's Eve celebration.


Mr Simester, from Kidderminster, Worcestershire, said: "I would start work at 7am and sometimes finish at 10pm or 11pm."

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

He added: "I fell off a horse one day. I fell on to concrete flooring.

"Somebody then got a wheelbarrow and stuck me in it. They took me to the shed I was living in. I was crying my eyes out at first.

"Was I taken to the hospital (straight away)? No. The following day I just carried on as normal working... mucking out the horses and cleaning them."

The court heard Mr Simester was taken to hospital two days after the accident - where he later had an operation on his hip.

He added: "I gave the doctors a different name (when I was in hospital). I told them I had fallen off a wall. Why did I give a false name? Somebody told me to give a false name. I can't remember who it was. I felt terrified and terrible."

Washed in a trough

Mr Simester claimed he lived in a shed, which had rats and no washing facilities.

He ate two meals a day on his own in the outbuilding, which he said had a settee, table and chair and fire heater.

"I used the horse trough to have a wash," said Mr Simester.

For more than a decade he was not given soap and never used a toothbrush, the court heard.

When he developed toothache, Mr Simester was "disgusted" that David Daniel Doran gave him whisky to ease the pain.

He claimed he continued working despite a hernia the size of a grapefruit.

"It used to give me pain every day when I had it," said Mr Simester.

He had only one set of clothes when he arrived - a T-shirt, jumper, jeans and a leather jacket, which he used as a blanket when he slept. He was occasionally given different items of clothes while he was there.

The court heard Mr Simester was "terrified" of the two defendants. He said David Doran had thrown a spade at him, although it missed, while his son had thrown a block of wood at him, which had hit his head.

Slept rough

The jury also heard how Mr Simester had to cross a horses' paddock to use a toilet that did not flush.

John Hipkin, prosecuting, showed the jury and Mr Simester a photograph of the shed, which was taken after he had left. It had a fridge-freezer, a table and chairs and other items of furniture.

Mr Simester said it was not furnished in that way during his stay.

He told the court he left school at 18 and found work unloading lorries in his hometown while living in a bedsit.

He said he met a man called Jimmy Loveridge, who took him to live in his wooden garden shed. He would give the family £100 of his £120 weekly wage from working in a warehouse.

When the Loveridge family took him with them on holiday to Porthcawl, Mr Simester said he fled from them and walked 40 miles (63 km) to Newport, where he slept rough in a car park.

He said he was walking along a dual carriageway near Taffs Well, Rhondda Cynon Taf, when he met Thomas Doran, another son of the defendant, who offered him work at his father's farm in Peterstone, Newport.

The trial continues.

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