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Thousands made by Connors set to be clawed back

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 22, 2012

  • to be destroyed: Beggars Roost caravan site. Below, from left; William Connors, 52, his wife Mary, 48, their sons John, 29, and James, 20, and their son-in-law Miles Connors, 24.

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DETAILS of the profits made by the Connors family during decades of criminal activity in Gloucestershire will not be fully revealed until July next year.

Seizures under the Proceeds of Crime Act have already been made and cash frozen in family bank accounts. A full investigation into family finances is now expected to take place with a court hearing scheduled for July 8.

Five members of the Connors family were found guilty of conspiracy to require vulnerable men to perform forced or compulsory labour at Bristol Crown Court last week.

A total sentence of 18 years was handed out to the family.

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Head of the family Billy Connors, 51, is serving six and a half years but his wife Breda, 48, is expected to be released having already served her 27-month term awaiting trial.

Eldest son John, 29, is serving four years while James, 20, will serve three at a young offenders' institution. Son-in-law Miles Connors has also been given a three-year sentence.

The defendants were originally charged with conspiracy to hold a person in slavery, but the charges were dropped at an early stage.

A count of servitude was also dismissed by Judge Michael Longman.

In his summing up of the evidence heard in the three month trial, he questioned the wisdom of homeowners handing over thousands of pounds in cash to strangers to work on their driveways.

"The fact the profits gained completely bypassed the Inland Revenue is an aggravating factor, but does not constitute the essence of the offence of which they have been convicted," he said.

"The work done reaped rich rewards for the Connors family, who lived in luxurious caravans or houses."

The squalid former homes of the workers will be destroyed under a court order.

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  • Bellyflop  |  December 22 2012, 7:20PM

    Divide the proceeds and give it to those workers who were exploited. I would urge all home owners not to deal with contractors that are not registered. Only pay by cheque. Their are too many unscrupulous people out their who do a **** job for cash.

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  • Lecorche  |  December 22 2012, 9:00AM

    Yes,Yes,Yes TiG! You keep telling us about the money and how the Connors are being dealt with. How about finding out and telling us about the poor sods who now have nowhere to go/live? Have they no importance to your journalists?

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