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Family sentenced for catalogue of crimes

Four men have been sentenced to a total of 29 years for offences including abduction, holding workers in servitude, and assault.

65 year old Robert McPhee was sentenced to ten years imprisonment for abduction and holding workers in servitude and violent offences spanning decades.

His son-in-law John Miller, who’s 38, was sentenced to seven years for abduction, holding workers in servitude and violence.

McPhee and Miller have also been given the first ever Trafficking and Exploitation Prevention Orders (TEPO) to be issued in Scotland.

The pair, having been convicted of trafficking and exploitation offences, were deemed at risk of committing similar offences and the orders can be used for the purpose of protecting others from the physical or psychological harm of these offences.

The terms of the order mean that McPhee and Miller, for five years after they are released from prison, are restricted in who they can employ; the property they can use, and must notify police of any travel plans outwith Scotland. They are also restricted in the number of communications devices they can own.

Procurator Fiscal for Homicide and Major Crime, Nicky Patrick, said:

“We welcome today’s sentence which brings to an end a regime of violent abuse and servitude.

“Robert McPhee and John Miller preyed on vulnerable men. They enticed them with the promise of paid work and free food and board.

“They repeatedly assaulted their victims when they thought they were not working hard enough, or did not secure new contracts. These assaults involved serious violence and locking some of the victims, tied up, in a shed. If their victims escaped they would locate them or their families, threaten them and their families, and force them to return to work.

“The granting of the prevention order, the first in Scotland under new legislation, shows that prosecutors will use all measures at our disposal to disrupt criminal activity.

“The prohibitions placed on them today, which allow for intensive monitoring on release, will disrupt potential future offending and the harm that it can cause."

McPhee’s son James (45) was sentenced to nine years for abduction and violence and Steven McPhee (37) was sentenced to three years imprisonment having previous pled guilty to a charge of assault.