"Slave" helped to set up cleaning business by bosses
A "slave trial" was brought to an unexpected halt in its seventh week when one of the jurors was taken ill.
A woman juror at Bristol Crown Court complained of being feverish yesterday and His Honour Judge Longman told her to go home. The juror hoped to be better in time for today's proceedings and the trial was scheduled to restart today.
Earlier one of the prosecuting witnesses – 28-year-old Andrew Thomas – told defence barrister Michael Borrelli QC how Billy Connors encouraged him to start his own cleaning business.
"Is it true that Billy was so impressed with the standard of your cleaning that he wanted to help you set up Supersonic Cleaners," asked Mr Borrelli in cross examination.
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"Yes", said Mr Thomas. "We all took pride in our work and Billy put in long hours himself."
Mr Thomas, who lived with the Connors family on various traveller sites for five years, confirmed that Billy "particularly discouraged drunkenness" at work.
He said: "He also bought my clothes from charity shops so I would be presentable when cold calling."
The court was then told that 52-year-old Billy Connors gave Mr Thomas a Rottweiller as a present.
The trial continues.