Connors traveller family slavery trial: 'I became a dogsbody'
HOMELESS alcoholic James Martin was picked up from a hostel by Johnny Connors and driven to a Gloucestershire travellers' site where he was put to work clearing up rubbish, a court heard.
The 43-year-old was promised £20 a day if he laboured for the family but he often ended up with a mere £10 for working 10-12 hour shifts, Bristol Crown Court was told yesterday.
In a recorded police interview, the vulnerable Mr Martin told officers he was often not paid enough money to buy food and was so cold in his rundown caravan that he slept with his clothes on.
"If my boss (Johnny Connors) ran out of gas he would come to a worker's caravan and take our bottles," said Mr Martin, who confessed that he was "a raving alcoholic".
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"I got in the car with Johnny some six years ago because I was vulnerable and had no ties and nowhere to go," he said.
"I didn't have a clue what was going on.
"I was taken from the hostel in Cardiff and driven over the Severn Bridge into England.
"People like me were picked on to do cheap labour and I became a dogsbody."
When asked to describe the caravans where members of the Connors family lived, Mr Martin said: "They had top of the range, pristine trailers – it was like walking into a palace – and workers' trailers were about 20 years old and had stained carpets. There was no comparison."
The trial continues.