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Two charged after man found 'living in garden shed for 40-years'

Martin Evans
·2-min read
Two men have been charged with modern slavery offences
Two men have been charged with modern slavery offences

Two men, one aged 80, have been charged with human trafficking offences after a 58-year-old man was discovered in a garden shed where had allegedly been living for 40-years.

The alleged victim was discovered in the 6ft ramshackle shed in Carlisle, Cumbria by police in October 2018.

The shed had a makeshift bed on the floor, a soiled duvet and a single chair. It was also equipped with a metre fed television.

The damp shed, which had no apparent heating, was located at the Hadrian's Camp, a homeless and travellers' site in Carlisle.

Police said they believed the man, who is thought to have learning difficulties, had been living at the site since the 1980s having arrived there when he was just 16-years-old.

After being discovered he was taken away by specialist trauma officers and a major investigation was launched by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, supported by Cumbria Police and the National Crime Agency.

In 2019, senior investigating officer Martin Plimmer said: “Our priority since we made the initial arrest has been to ensure that the potential victim has been given all the necessary help and support. This was clearly the right thing to do.

“When we found him he was like a rabbit in headlights and very confused.’"

Peter Swailes, 80, from Carlisle, and Peter Swailes, 55, also from Carlisle, appeared before the town’s Magistrates' Court on Thursday.

Both were charged with conspiracy to organise the travel of an individual with a view to exploiting them contrary to Section 2 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and Section 1 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

They will next appear before Carlisle Crown Court on Tuesday April 6 for a plea and direction hearing.