A MAN who claims he was enslaved at a traveller site said he is still ‘petrified’ of the ‘bossman’ who allegedly ordered him around.

Michael Joyce, 60, denies five modern slavery charges relating to forced labour and exploitation of two men, between April 1, 2016 and January 30, 2018.

One of the alleged victims, Paul West, told Oxford Crown Court today that Joyce ‘constantly’ demanded money after loaning him £50.

The court heard how the 50-year-old allegedly paid £16,000 in small sums to Joyce over the years - a figure which Mr West said he was 'shocked' by.

Asked why he did not challenge Joyce, of Redbridge Hollow in Oxford, Mr West said: “You wouldn’t ask that of Michael because of the fear of getting smacked.

“Without a doubt, I wouldn’t have even questioned what he said - to this day, I am petrified of him.”

READ MORE: Oxford modern slavery trial opens

He said he referred to Joyce as ‘Mick,’ ‘bossman’ or ‘big man’ while his own nickname on the traveller site was ‘gay Paul’.

He said: “I wasn’t comfortable being called that - I was very conscious of my sexuality.”

Mr West lived in Berinsfield at the time and struggled with a heroin habit, and would allegedly carry out long days of labour at the traveller site including chopping firewood, for little or no reward.

He said he started keeping diary records from April 2016 to document his debts.

Mr West, who has bipolar disorder, said: “Mick said I had to start making notes of what I owed him, because he was getting frustrated I couldn’t pay him.”

The court heard how in 2017 names in the diary started to vary, using Kim, Paul and Mel instead of Mick.

Mr West said: “Those all referred to Michael. Mick didn’t want me to put his name.

“It got to the stage where we used to [fill in the diary] together.”

The court heard how at one stage there was a diary note for the ‘last payment for Michael,’ yet more entries followed.

Asked why this was, Mr West said: “I thought it should have come to an end but Mick didn’t think I had paid enough.

“He said ‘you’re having a f***ing laugh, you owe me thousands boy.’”

ALSO READ: Officers 'used reasonable force' in hours before student's death

Asked why he did not refuse, Mr West chuckled and said: “You don’t say no to Michael Joyce.”

Mr West’s father died on Christmas Eve, 2017, and his brother-in-law died days later, shortly after which his niece was diagnosed with cancer.

He said it was a ‘chaotic month’ but the demands for money persisted, and he eventually reported Joyce to the police.

Mr West said he gave his insurance documents to Joyce, and Joyce successfully made a false claim.

At the time of the alleged slavery, West was receiving benefits including a carer’s allowance.

He had been studying to become a youth worker, and also held down a job at Ben’s Cookies until August 2017.

However, he said Joyce’s demands had left him ‘completely and utterly skint.”

Joyce's defence barrister found fault in Mr West’s chronology, as some of his evidence contradicted that which he made at the previous trial.

In response, Mr West said: “Now my life is in a better place, time frames are much clearer.

“When you’re on heroin, reality isn’t real. It’s an evil drug.”

The trial continues.