Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Two held over 'slave' in Southampton garden shed

Shed where man was living
Image caption The man had been living for four years in an outbuilding with no flushing toilet or heating

Two people have been arrested following reports a man had been kept as a slave in a shed at the bottom of a garden for four years.

Anti-slavery officers detained a man and woman in an early-morning raid in Chilworth, near Southampton.

It followed claims by a vulnerable Polish man that he had been forced to work in exchange for food and a bed in a shed which had no flushing toilet.

The man and woman are being held on suspicion of modern slavery offences.

'Dreadful'

The specialist team from the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) said the man's plight only came to light after he sought medical help at a hospital and told staff he had been working in exchange for food.

The concrete shed had no heating and the only kitchen facilities were a fridge and a barbecue outside.

Officers said the man had become increasingly unwell and frail after spending four years in the outbuilding.

GLAA senior investigating officer Tony Byrne: "It's quite dreadful - there is no heating, the bedding is non-existent. It's a dreadful situation for people to be put into."

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