A POLISH migrant worker who claims she was exploited by members of a Huddersfield family was taken out of hospital attached to a drip, a jury heard yesterday.
Prosecutor Andrew Kershaw told Bradford Crown Court that Katarzyna Bluhm’s morale sank so low that in April 2009 she self-harmed.
Ms Bluhm was admitted to the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary where she was connected to a drip, but Mr Kershaw alleged that 47-year-old Wojciech Cwikla, known as The Gypsy, found her at the hospital, unfastened her drip and led her away barefoot.
The court was told that Ms Bluhm was driven to a house on Bradford Road, where police later found her. “Her clothing was heavily blood-stained and the drip bag had been nailed to a wall,” said Mr Kershaw. He said after that incident Ms Bluhm ‘surrendered’ to Cwikla until she had the opportunity, courage and strength to break away again.
The jury heard allegations that Cwikla, his wife Barbara Markowska, 42, and son Robert, 26, were involved in trafficking Ms Bluhm for exploitation following her arrival in this country in June 2008.
Wojciech Cwikla, of Alder Street, Hillhouse, is also alleged to have trafficked Ms Bhulm for exploitation by arranging for her to travel to the UK.
Robert Cwikla, of Macaulay Street, also faces an allegation that he possessed £4,740 in £20 notes which, the prosecution say, was some of Ms Bluhm’s wages from her work at a food company in Liversedge. All three defendants deny the charges against them. The case is a re-trial after the previous hearing was halted for legal reasons.
It is expected to last about three weeks.