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Landscape gardener cleared on slave charges
1:00pm Tuesday 6th August 2013 in News
A LANDSCAPE gardener charged with slavery has walked free from a court.
Hadley Doran, 23, had been accused of forcing a man to work with little pay or food.
When the case came up at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday, the prosecution offered no evidence.
The matter had been reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service and a decision had been taken not to proceed with the case.
Christian Meikle, prosecutor, said there was no real prospect of conviction.
He said the decision related to the credibility of the alleged victim in the case.
Judge David Turner QC directed not guilty verdicts should be entered and Mr Doran was discharged.
The prosecution had alleged Nathan Owers was used for work while receiving little pay and food and provided with poor living conditions.
Mr Doran, formerly of Kingfisher Close, Colchester but now living at Vian Close, Gosport, Hampshire, had been accused of holding Mr Owers in slavery or servitude between July 1 last year and March 23 this year at locations in Essex and Suffolk.
The charge also alleged Mr Owers was forced to undertake work for little or no payment and provided with little food and inadequate accommodation.
Mr Doran was also accused of assaulting Mr Owers in Colchester and Felixstowe, Suffolk between February 1 and February 28 this year.