Landlord jailed for forcing vulnerable men into working at Sports Direct to fund lavish lifestyle

Sajmon Brzezinski
Sajmon Brzezinski

A landlord has been sentenced to eight years in prison for forcing two vulnerable men into working at Sports Direct in Shirebrook to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Sajmon Brzezinski admitted human trafficking, two counts of forced labour and fraud at a previous hearing at Nottingham Crown Court.

Sentencing him on Thursday (June 150, Judge Stuart Rafferty QC, said: “By your persistent criminal activities you have degraded the lives of two men who were not strangers to you, which in some ways makes what you did even more reprehensible.”

Brzezinski was also given a slavery and trafficking prevention order to stop him from committing any similar offences in the future.

The court heard how the 43-year-old, formerly of Overdale Road in Old Basford, Notts, had trafficked a vulnerable man in 2011 from Poland to Nottingham and made him his tenant. He then forced him to work at Sports Direct, Shirebrook, until 2013, and later on a farm in Arnold, Notts, to fund his lavish lifestyle.

He also tricked another vulnerable man - who considered himself a member of his family after being taken from an orphanage - into handing over most of the money he earned from Sports Direct and on the farm.

Both of the men worked full-time but were given allowances of just £20 and £30 a week.

Meanwhile, Brzezinski’s home in Poland was a ‘palace’ with 50 windows, and he owned more than five cars and four properties in Nottingham - despite not having worked for the last five years.

An investigation was launched after a co-worker at the farm reported concerns about the wellbeing of one of the victims.

Nottinghamshire Police worked in close partnership with the GLAA (Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority), the National Crime Agency and Nottingham City Council to crack the case.

The judge also commended the work of investigating officers Detective Constable Claire Reilly and Mary Gaskin of the GLAA, saying: “Their labours in this case went over and beyond.”

Speaking after Brzezinski entered his guilty plea on Monday June 5, DC Claire Reilly, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This type of crime is one of the worst that exists in modern society and what is often most shocking is that it is happening in the midst of our towns and cities and is hidden in plain sight. I would ask that anybody who has any concerns that a person may be being exploited in this way contact the police.”