A mushroom grower from Reusel, Noord-Brabant, has been sentenced to a year in jail for exploiting a man with learning difficulties for more than a decade. The man worked long hours six days a week, but was never paid for more than 20 hours and did not receive travel expenses. He was not allowed to take time off and even had to work when ill.
The matter came to a head in 2019 when the man wanted to leave and the owner’s father blocked his exit. The judge ruled that the mushroom grower and his father knew the man was vulnerable and that ‘his personal freedom had been seriously curtailed for a long period of time’, leading to fear and stress.
The father was let off with a conditional sentence of six months because of ill health. The judge took into consideration that the suspect showed no remorse and denied the charges. He was told to pay compensation to the victim and his company was fined €100,000.