Polish man in ‘ modern slavery’ case jailed

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A Polish national helping police in a modern slavery investigation has been locked up for six months after spitting at an officer.

Burnley Crown Court heard Michal Czerniawski (28) struck when police were called to trouble at a house in Nelson.

He is intending to give evidence in relation to a Slavery Prevention Order


Father-of-two Czerniawski was subject to a suspended jail term for assault, causing actual bodily harm, in August last year after an attack on his partner and was flouting it a second time.

Czerniawski had pleaded guilty to police assault, in breach of the suspended term and had been committed for sentence by Burnley magistrates. He had also admitted failing to surrender.

A lower court was told last month how the defendant and two other Polish nationals had been found living in a shed at the back of a man’s house in Manchester Road, Nelson.

A district judge, sitting in Blackburn, made an interim Slavery and Trafficking Risk order. A full hearing will follow at the end of November.

Mark Lamberty, prosecuting, said police went to Duerden Street, Nelson. The defendant was there, visiting a couple who also originate from Poland.

An altercation and struggle was in progress. Officers intervened, Czerniawski’s partner was removed and he tried to push past an officer who was stood in the doorway to stop him leaving.

Mr Lamberty continued: “The defendant spat at him. The officer then pulled the defendant’s clothing over the top of his head and brought him to the ground. When the officer got the defendant to the ground, he was lashing out with his hands and feet.”

Czerniawski was eventually handcuffed and taken away.

Mr Lamberty said in August last year, the defendant was given 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, for assault. He breached it and in January the order was extended by three months.

Isobel Thomas, for Czerniawski, said he accepted he was highly intoxicated at the time. She continued: “He does say when the police arrived, he remembers panicking.”

The barrister said the defendant had recently been assisting police with an ongoing investigation into slavery, after work he was said to have been involved in between last November and this April.

She continued: “He is intending to give evidence in relation to a Slavery Prevention Order.“