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French stud farm owner exploited refugee slave

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10:47 CET+01:00
The owner of a stud farm in the northern French region of Normandy has been handed a one year suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay damages to a vulnerable Cambodian refugee, whom she employed for slave labour.

The victim, aged in his 50s and believed to be suffering from a mental illness, was made to work ten hours a day, except on Sunday when he worked for four hours.

For his efforts the refugee was paid a paltry 100 to 150 euros a month during the six years he worked at the stud.

The owner, who claimed she was simply "helping a homeless man", has been ordered to pay him €12,000 in damages, France 3 reported this week.

The stud owner had first been convicted in July 2011 for taking advantage of a vulnerable person and giving employment to an illegal immigrant.

This week a civil appeal court also recognized the offence of human trafficking, for which she had been cleared in a criminal court last year. The appeal court increased her suspended jail sentence from six months to one year.

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The case was brought to light by France's Committee Against Modern Slavery, who say they uncover 15 to 20 cases of modern slavery each year.

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