Second arrest over ‘vulnerable man forced to live in 6ft shed’ for 40 years

A second man has been arrested over claims that a vulnerable worker was forced to live in a 6ft shed for 40 years.

The 53-year-old suspect was arrested on Tuesday at a residential site north of Carlisle, Cumbria, on suspicion of modern slavery offences and is being questioned in custody.

A 79-year-old man was previously detained by officers from the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) in October and released under investigation.

The alleged victim, a 58-year-old British man, was rescued from the shed on a residential site north of Carlisle – reportedly a licensed traveller camp – where it is believed he had been living throughout his adult life.

Investigators found there was no heating in the cramped 6ft building, with a soiled duvet on the floor and a metered television.

The 58-year-old man has been receiving specialist support over the last six months, said the GLAA.

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.

“Alongside this we have ensured that all lines of inquiry have been thoroughly and objectively explored which has resulted in today’s arrest. I would again like to thank my team for their utmost professionalism and dedication in what is a challenging case.

“If anyone who is reading this has any information, however small, please contact us. You will be spoken to in full confidence and could provide us with crucial evidence.”

Detective Chief Inspector Helen Harkins, of North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “Cumbria Police are working closely with the GLAA to ensure all lines of inquiry are explored.

“We have assisted with the arrests and will continue to support the GLAA investigation in any way we can.”

Anyone with information on the investigation should get in touch with the GLAA’s intelligence team on 0800 432 0804 or email [email protected].

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority / PA Wire.