Slavery: 'Prison was better than gang's housing'

A victim of a Polish gang, jailed for slavery and trafficking, said being locked in a prison was better than conditions he was forced to endure.

Squalid conditions

Miroslaw Lehmann, 38, was brought to the UK from Poland after being approached by gang members at a bus stop.

Mr Lehmann had just been released from jail and - like dozens of the gang's other victims - had "nowhere to go".

When asked about the accommodation he was put in, Mr Lehmann said: "I would say some homeless people here in the UK live better than I lived after I arrived over here.

"There was no heating, no secure windows, cold water, sleeping on the floor on some mattresses, covering yourself with your own clothing."

He added: "In Poland, when I was in prison, it was better than being in this house."

Slavery victim describes life controlled by traffickers
Miroslaw Lehmann was tricked into coming to the UK from Poland in 2014 with the promise of a job.

Women and newborn baby 'victims' of modern slavery

Two women, including a mother with a newborn baby, are being cared for at a reception centre after a man was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences in North Tyneside.

The 28-year-old man was arrested by officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) at a nail bar in Wallsend.

The GLAA declined to give details of the nationalities of those involved.

The GLAA was supported by Northumbria Police, customs officials and the Environment Agency.

The man has been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

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