THREE car wash owners charged with a number of modern slavery offences have been acquitted by a jury.

Brothers Benard and Saimir Leshi were on trial accused of modern slavery offences alongside their uncle Adriatik Leshi.

The accusations related to the way they ran the Avni Car Wash in Wellesley Road, Clacton, in March last year.

The court had heard of how two employees had their ID cards confiscated on their first day in the job and were not given lunch breaks.

Benard, 27, of Wellesley Road, Saimir, 29, of Coronation Road, Clacton, and Adriatik, 43, of Key Road, Clacton, faced two joint charges of requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed the three men had been acquitted at Chelmsford Crown Court on Monday.