Jail term sought for Scilly man

1:33 pm on 14 January 2016

A French Polynesian man accused of modern slavery has refused to attend court over charges of stealing a publicly owned boat in 2009.

Rene Taputu failed to return the vessel, which had been used to supply him and others on the atoll of Scilly.

The remote atoll is in a protected zone in the territory's west where nobody is allowed to live.

Mr Taputu has been on the atoll for about 30 years with several women and children.

Last July, the French military inspected the remote atoll, which led to charges of modern slavery being laid after he was found to have failed to pay workers hired from the outside.

The prosecution says he grows marijuana and hunts turtles which is also illegal.

A ruling in the alleged boat theft case is expected on January the 26th.