| 11.6°C Dublin

Slavery trial Irish pensioner jailed for forcing Hungarian man to live in shed and act as slave

James McCann (69) who has 51 previous convictions, was jailed for two years and nine months for modern slavery

Close

James McCann (Northumbria Police)

James McCann (Northumbria Police)

James McCann (Northumbria Police)

A father-of-fifteen with an Irish background has been jailed after forcing a Hungarian man to live in a shed and act as his slave.

James McCann (69), now of Green Road, Kinross, Scotland, was jailed for two years and nine months at Newcastle Crown Court for modern slavery.

Mr McCann brought Hungarian man Andras Varga to Blyth, England in 2017 and made him live in a tent near Blyth Beach next to McCann’s caravan before moving him to a metal shed.

The court heard that the shed, which was located in a garden owned by McCann’s partner, did not have access to a toilet or washing facilities.

Mr Varga had to go to a supermarket to use the toilet because he was forbidden from going inside the caravan or the house.

He was given a small bowl of water to wash or did so in the sea because he could not do so inside McCann’s caravan.

Close

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

The only time Mr Varga was allowed in the house was to help with decorating and to take some groceries in.

McCann, who is originally from Ireland, paid Mr Varga £10 to £20 a day for completing various tasks such as washing driveways or gardening.

Mr Varga was eventually rescued by police, who found him in a “dishevelled and dirty” state in November 2017.

The court heard the victim has since died of an unrelated illness in Hungary.

McCann, who has 51 previous convictions, including for violence and dishonesty, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Modern Slavery Act of holding Mr Varga in slavery between November 1 and November 30, 2017.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Close

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

Photo credit: Northumbria Police

Judge Edward Bindloss said: “In the shed it was a limited space, with an unfit door and there was a camp bed with a dirty sleeping bag on it.

“There was no toilet or sink or laundry and he had to use a toilet in a supermarket because he was not allowed in the house.

“These offences are always serious because of the lack of autonomy given to a person in his position.”

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy