A riverside village near Carlisle, England.
A riverside village near Carlisle, England.

Man rescued after 40 years of ‘slavery’

A MAN suspected of being held a slave for more than 40 years has been rescued from a country town in north west England.

The 58-year-old was found inside a garden shed in Cumbria, Carlisle, during a dawn raid on Wednesday by officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), The Telegraph reports.

He was taken by specialist trauma officers for a medical check-up, said GLAA.

A 79-year-old man, who reportedly lived in a mobile home beside the garden shed, has been arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

The raid unfolded at Hadrian's Camp, one of three licenced sites in the city of Carlisle for gypsies, travellers and the homeless.

A staffer who helps run the site told The Telegraph most people knew the man lived in the shed.

The ‘slave’ was found living inside this shed. Picture: GLAA via PA
The ‘slave’ was found living inside this shed. Picture: GLAA via PA

"I used to say to him 'you'll have to get yourself a flat' but he didn't seem to want to move, the shed was where he lived as far as he was concerned.

"He was free to come and go, he'd get lifts into town and that kind of things."

The staffer said the man appeared to have learning difficulties and he appeared to be looked after.

"They used to feed him and treat him well he was never abused by them, he was treated like one of the family, but lived in the shed."

Martin Plimmer, a senior investigator with the GLAA, said he had never heard of a victim of modern slavery who had been captive for so long.

"We received a tip-off from a member of the public to a confidential line to say an individual was being held at a location near Carlisle and was being treated as a slave," he said.

"The initial report was that he had been there for 40 years and that appears at this stage to be the case. I have never heard of a case of modern slavery that has extended for this long, it is incomprehensible and inhuman."