Mum and son 'plundered' men's wages in Peterborough

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Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Roman Slavik and Maria Slavikova committed the offences while in Peterborough, the court heard

A mother and son who "hijacked and plundered" the accounts of two men whose money they considered their "personal property" have been jailed.

Roman Slavik and Maria Slavikova stopped the men's access to their wages, but drew funds "as and when".

Slavik also helped one of the victims enter into a "sham marriage" with a Filipina to avoid immigration controls.

Slavik, 29, was jailed for six and a half years, while his mother, 47, was sentenced to three and a half years.

At Cambridge Crown Court, both were found guilty of two counts of fraud, while Slavik was also convicted of assisting unlawful immigration and arranging or facilitating the travel of a person within the UK for exploitation.

'Chain of exploitation'

Judge Jonathan Cooper said that one of the victims was homeless in Slovakia when offered accommodation in return for work by Slavik's family, before being moved to the UK.

Slavik met the man, who had no English, at Peterborough bus station and took him to the family home, which was a "vital link in a chain of exploitation".

Judge Cooper said the man was given accommodation and food but, despite working, did not have access to his bank account that Slavik had helped set up, only being given £30 a week.

The court heard "exactly the same model" of fraud was used on the other victim but that it was "impossible" to know how much the pair had defrauded the men of before their arrest in 2016.

"Anyone who holds a bank card in somebody else's name, like you, feeling the contents belong to them... can expect significant custodial sentences," Judge Cooper said.

He added that Slavik, but not his mother, both of whom are of Exeter Place in Derby, had helped arrange a sham marriage for one of the fraud victims to earn a Filipina a British passport.