A MAN was forced to work seven days a week at an Oxford travellers site for no money whilst paying more than £5,000 in 'debts' for breaking a circular saw, it has been alleged.

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

Oxford Crown Court has heard prosecution claims that Mr Joyce 'groomed' two 'vulnerable' men in order to force them into working at the travellers site for little or nothing.

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A jury at Joyce's retrial were today played a video interview with one of the alleged victims, Paul Gilding.

He said he first met Michael Joyce in April 2017 through a friend, and agreed to a couple of days work 'cash in hand'.

Mr Gilding said he cleared rubbish from the site and was paid £20, a bag of cannabis, and a packet of cigarettes for two half days work.

He claims: "After that it was just a packet of fags, maybe a bag of weed, but no money."

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He added: "The first week the circular saw got broken, he said you broke it you owe me money. You'll have to come back next week to start paying it off."

The court heard how it was after this that Mr Gilding claims Michael Joyce or members of his family would turn up at his home, 'banging on the door' to pick him up and take him to the site to work for up to 12 hours a day. He claims he was paid initially for the two days but after that was given no money, occasionally given cigarettes, and had lunch each day on site.

This allegedly continued for several months from April 2017 to January 2018 and during which he was ordered to build a 'pub shed' in Mr Joyce's garden, drive six or seven times to BuildBase in Blackbird Leys and steal materials to build the 'pub shed', and on a few occasions Mr Gilding claims he was ordered to sell drugs, although refused.

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He said: "I honestly think this debt was made to keep me there, everyone knows tools do break, they don't last forever.

"It was just a way to keep a hold on me."

The court heard how despite Mr Gilding's claims he was being forced to work off his debts, he says he was also forced to hand over his partner's wages and his own benefit payments totalling almost £600 a month to Mr Joyce.

He said: "It just got really out of hand quickly."

Adding: "I just don’t know how it went from going there to do a little bit of work, to being sucked under and not being able to get out from underneath."

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Mr Gilding said he 'wished' he never took the work on originally, and said the amount he's paid to Mr Joyce is 'extortion'.

The retrial comes after Joyce, his sons John and Michael, as well as David Boiling, of Northfield Close, Littlemore, faced the same charges in December.

The three other men were acquitted but the jury could not reach a verdict on Joyce senior.

The trial continues.