Polish Workers, victims of extortion

Migrant workers in Hereford were blackmailed by co-nationals, a Court heard. 22 October 2008. Krzysztof Wojcik, 28, Kamil Siegien, 30, Jaroslaw Wysiecki, 23, and Micho Zubryzycki, 20, were convicted of conspiracy to commit blackmail.

Zubryzycki was also found guilty of one count of causing grievous bodily harm.

The gang, who lived in Hereford, made violent demands for cash from Polish workers.

The Worcester Crown Court heard the gang’s victims were asked to hand over up to £200 to get a job in a factory or a farm between March and December 2007.

But once the migrant workers begun collecting wages, they faced more demands for money which were backed up by threats, the court heard.

Two men who upset the gang over payments were taken to hospital after suffering severe injuries, the court heard.

The gang were workers at the former Sun Valley food firm, which was in no way involved in the offences and was praised by police investigating the case.

The four men have been held in custody and pre-sentencing reports have been requested.

They will be sentenced at a later date.

Emma Whitworth, one of the detectives who investigated the case, said the migrant workers had been welcomed into Herefordshire and should be able to live in the county "without fear of any violence".

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