French stud farm owner exploited refugee slave

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.

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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