Cumbria

Carlisle 40-year suspected slavery case was 'most traumatic'

Shed Image copyright GLAA
Image caption The man was believed to have been living in the shed for 40 years

The case of a suspected slavery victim living in a shed for 40 years was the "most traumatic" he had witnessed, the officer in charge of his rescue said.

The 58-year-old man was discovered in the six-foot hut during a raid near Carlisle on Wednesday.

A 79-year-old man arrested on suspicion of modern slavery offences has been released while investigations continue.

Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) senior officer Martin Plimmer said it was a "sad and traumatic case".

"In my many years of working in law enforcement and tackling really serious incidents of labour exploitation, I have never witnessed anything like this," he said.

'Soiled duvet'

The 79-year-old man was arrested at a fixed residential site north of Carlisle, the GLAA said.

The shed was cramped and unheated and had only one chair, a metered television and a soiled duvet on the floor.

The rescued man was "very confused and emotionally vulnerable" and had been given medical support, Mr Plimmer said.

Carlisle City Council's private sector housing team, the National Crime Agency and Cumbria Police had been involved in the GLAA operation.

The raid resulted from a call to a confidential helpline.

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