Man, 80, accused of human trafficking charges dies ahead of trial

Police 'Do not cross' tape
Police 'Do not cross' tape

The charges came following a three-year investigation by the GLAA

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An 80-year-old who was facing trial for human trafficking offences after a man was found living in a shed has died, a court heard.

Peter Swailes, of Hadrian’s Park, Brampton Old Road, Carlisle, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court with his son Peter Swailes junior, 55, in April.

They both pleaded not guilty to conspiring together and with others to arrange or facilitate the travel of an individual between 2015 and 2019 with a view to him being exploited.

At a hearing on Tuesday it was confirmed that the court had received a death certificate for Swailes senior, a spokesman for the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) said.

Swailes junior, of Cryndlbeck Stables, Low Harker, Carlisle, is still due to face trial next January.

The charges came following a three-year investigation by the GLAA, supported by Cumbria Police and the National Crime Agency, after a 58-year-old man was found living in a 6ft shed on a residential site north of Carlisle.

Investigators found there was no heating in the cramped shed, with a soiled duvet on the floor and a metered television.