Modern slavery: St Anne’s couple jailed for keeping man in cupboard under stairs

A St Anne’s couple have been jailed after they forced a man to live in a cupboard under their stairs and bathe himself in the garden.

Ian Baboc, 26, and Christina Tudor Dobre, 24, of Evans Close, Bristol were convicted under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 for four and three years respectively.

A third man Mihai-Aurel Dan, 36, was also tried, but acquitted of similar charges.

Washing dishes (Picture: Avon and Somerset police)
Washing clothes  (Picture: Avon and Somerset police)
Cupboard where the man lives (Picture: Avon and Somerset police)

As well as forcing the 31-year-old man to live in inhumane conditions, Baboc and Tudor Dobre would also steal money from the victim, and taking out loans and phone contracts in the man’s name.

The victim, who has not been named, gave evidence against the couple at Taunton Crown Court.

Ben Samples, District Crown Prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, commended him for his “incredible strength and bravery”.

Avon and Somerset police released footage of the victim in February.

Police were first alerted to the situation following an anonymous tip off in July 2018.

Neighbours reported seeing the victim drinking from a hosepipe in the garden as well as washing clothes and dishes by hand.

PC Roger Ibrahim said: “Without the information through the Modern Slavery Helpline this abuse would still be happening.

“When we found this man he appeared underfed and was suffering from sores on his feet. No one should be treated in this way.

“We’re very grateful to the anonymous person who alerted us to this situation.

“If you’re worried that someone is being subjected to modern day slavery, please contact us. You can call 101 or ring the helpline number 08000 121 700.”

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