DELIBERATIONS of a jury in the trial of three men accused of modern slavery crimes which centre on a Carlisle car wash will continue into a third week.

Defrim Paci, 42, his 37-year-old brother, Jetmir, and Sitar Ali, 33, all deny alleged roles in a conspiracy which prosecutors say comprised “forced labour and arranging for people to come to the UK with a view to their being exploited” during 2016 and 2017.

The case involves Romanian nationals who were transported to England and worked at the Shiny car wash, Warwick Road.

The three defendants each face two modern slavery charges while it is further alleged Ali possessed criminal cash after £16,000 was found in a vehicle.

Over the course of five weeks, a Carlisle Crown Court jury has heard a wealth of evidence — including accounts from car wash workers who allege they were compelled to work long hours for low pay and without proper breaks, without protective clothing and housed in “very dirty” accommodation.

One told police in an interview: “They treated me the same like they would do with a slave.”

Defrim Paci, of Windmill Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield; Jetmir Paci, of Minimum Terrace, Chesterfield; and Ali, of Adelaide Street, Carlisle, did not give evidence from the witness box during the hearing.

Jurors retired to consider verdicts in the case last Friday morning, and have spent all of this week — with the exception of Tuesday — poring over the evidence.

On Friday, Judge Nicholas Barker called a halt to the deliberations and sent the jury home for the weekend.

"I know that it’s not easy. It is tense. It is hard work. There is a lot of talking; a lot of listening. You have my thanks and appreciation for the endeavours you are putting in,” said the judge.‪“No one in this room underestimates the task that you have. ‪Cease deliberations. Rest. Recuperate. Return on Monday.”