St Albans slavery trial: Johnny Moloney jailed for four years

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Johnny MoloneyImage source, sbna
Image caption,
Police described Moloney's behaviour as "degrading" and that the cruelty "almost defied belief"

A man who turned a homeless labourer into a slave, forcing him to live in a shed and use a bucket as a toilet, has been jailed for four years.

Johnny Moloney, also known as Johnny Murphy, of Watford Road, St Albans, was found guilty of slavery charges.

St Albans Crown Court was told he kept Cameron Biggar in slavery between 2010 and 2014.

Moloney, 30, discovered Mr Biggar on The Strand in London and promised him a flat, food and work.

Judge Andrew Bright QC told Moloney he was guilty of "the deliberate degrading of a fellow human being over a substantial period of time".

Image source, Hertfordshire Constabulary
Image caption,
Cameron Biggar told the court he had seen the offer of work as "an opportunity not to be homeless anymore". He was forced to live in a shed (above)

The court heard Mr Biggar, 43, was picked up by Moloney in 2004.

He was taken to St Albans and carried out building and paving work, often for seven days a week, around the UK and in Norway and Sweden.

He slept in the front of a lorry, a camper van and a shed which he shared with eight or nine other "destitute" men.

The jury heard Mr Biggar made an escape attempt in 2006 but was tracked down by Moloney, put in a cabin and given sleeping pills.

Image source, sbna
Image caption,
Moloney's wife Shanon Loveridge was found not guilty of two of the same charges as her husband

Mr Biggar was not paid until 2011, when another modern day slavery case came to light.

He was given £30 a day but told to say, if asked by police, that he earned much more and was well looked after.

He eventually made a 999 call on Christmas Day 2014. Officers found Mr Biggar in a camper van at the back of Maloney's house in Watford Road, St Albans.

During the trial, Maloney's wife Shanon Loveridge, 22, was found not guilty on the direction of the judge of the same two charges faced by her husband.

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