Landmark Leeds case highlights the cruel name of modern day slavery

Jozef Sztojka.
Jozef Sztojka.
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West Yorkshire Police described the sentencing as a landmark case for tackling cases of trafficking and modern day slavery in Leeds.

Detective Superintendent Lisa Atkinson, Head of Crime for Leeds District, said Jozef Sztojka’s case “starkly illustrates” the cruel and exploitative nature of criminals involved.

She said: “The victim, who was vulnerable due to her situation in Hungary, was lured to the UK on the promise of a job as a cleaner but on her arrival in Leeds was forced to work as a prostitute.

“Sztojka is clearly someone who is involved in the organised trafficking of people to the UK for exploitation and we hope the fact he has now been brought to justice will provide some comfort to the victim and reassurance to the wider community.

“We treat any reports of trafficking and modern day slavery very seriously and have a specialist team of safeguarding officers who investigate these cases and can offer appropriate support to victims alongside key partner organisations.

“Officers in this case travelled to Hungary before the trial to support the victim in her return to the UK and while she gave her evidence at court.

“We hope the successful conclusion of this case will help to raise people’s awareness of the issue of modern day slavery and encourage other victims or members of the public who have concerns to contact the police directly or report via the Modern Day Slavery Helpline on 0800 0121 700.

“Signs that someone is being exploited can include indications they are working under duress; being forced to perform sexual acts; are not free to leave a home or business or contact family or friends; being deprived of food, water or sleep; someone else is controlling the money they earn or keeping their passport or identity card.”