A TRAVELLER who 'bullied and cajoled' two men into working for nothing to build him a pub has been jailed.

Michael Joyce, described in court as 'boss man', showed little emotion and gave a hand gesture to his family in the public gallery as he was led out of the dock at Oxford Crown Court today.

Sentencing him for modern slavery charges, Judge Ian Pringle QC said that the 60-year old of Redbridge Hollow, Oxford, had put a 'vice-like grip' on his victims.

He told Joyce: "You acted as a bully and cajoled and forced them to giving you free labour.

"It was undoubtedly forced, compulsory labour that you expected from them.

"Both [victims] have had to be relocated, Paul West [...] he can't return because of fear of reprisals.

"He said on a number of occasions 'I was petrified' of him."

During the trial jurors were told how as part of the forced labour the men, described as 'vulnerable' and having been 'groomed' by Joyce, were made to work on a pub at the Redbridge Hollow site.

That pub, known as 'The Dons Bar' was described by Joyce as nothing more than a 'man cave'.

He claimed that it was built to provide a place for family celebrations such as birthdays, Halloween, and Christmas gatherings and said it was not a functioning pub.

He added that he had been 'pleased' with the final construction which included a jukebox, one functioning beer pump, and an old cigarette machine.

In fact, jurors found that the victims in the case - Paul West and Paul Gilding - were subjected to 'implicit threats' and Gilding was struck by Joyce, when building the pub.

Speaking of his ordeal Mr West said he was 'petrified' of Joyce and that his life with the family 'was hell'.

He said: "I used to cry myself to sleep. My life was not in a good place.

“It was just a constant battle with every aspect of my day-to-day life."

By the summer of 2016, Mr West said he was being forced to work at the travellers' site, which is off Abingdon Road, sometimes for £10 a day or a small bag of tobacco.

He said he would never ‘take it for granted’ that he would be paid and there were ‘plenty of days’ when he got nothing for his labouring work between 9.30am and 7pm.

On a fortnightly basis Joyce would call Mr West on the day he received his benefits to ask for payments, driving him to a cash point if he didn't have the money.

A second victim, Paul Gilding, told jurors he was only ever paid in heroin or packs of cannabis and cigarettes, with the single exception of a one-off £20 payment.

He said he spent about 11 weeks building the pub.

Talking of the violence meted out to the men Mr Gilding said Joyce gave him a ‘slap’ on two occasions, once when he ignored his calls and another when he answered back.

He said would get a ‘bol****ing’ if he disobeyed him and it was ‘fear’ that kept him going back.

Victim personal statements read to the court this afternoon revealed how both continued to live in fear at Joyce after their ordeal.

Mr West added that he now felt 'paranoid' and worried he would be found by Joyce 'or his associates.'

Mr Gilding said he felt 'guilty and depressed' that his partner became involved and that his family could be 'threatened' by Joyce in locating him.

In mitigation at hearing defence barrister Paul Hynes QC said 'there is much good' in his client and said the victims did enjoy some 'independence and autonomy' during their ordeal.

Joyce was jailed for a total of five years and will be subject to forthcoming proceeds of crime act proceedings to recover his ill-gotten gains.

That hearing will take place at Oxford Crown Court on November 21.