Gangmaster ordered to pay £45,000 compensation
Unlicensed gangmaster, Christopher James Blakeney, of Conock, Devizes, has been handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for two years and has been ordered to pay £45,000 in direct compensation to the workers he supplied illegally.
The Wiltshire-based recruitment consultant systematically exploited around 60 Filipino workers and illegally supplied them to dairy farms across the UK.
However, the chief executive of the Gangmaster Licensing Authority (GLA), Paul Broadbent, says the sentence imposed does not “fit the crime”, given that Mr Blakeney ignored advice and warnings from the GLA and supplied between 60 and 70 workers illegally over a period of more than three-and-a-half years.
He deducted fees from all salaries so workers were paid below the National Minimum Wage and he misled some of the farmers he supplied, causing them to commit criminal offences themselves.