Man Kept In As Slave For 40 Years Without Heating Or Lights

A 56-year-old man has pleaded guilty to modern slavery after ivnesetigators found out that he had been keeping a man inside a shed for 40 years without any heating or lights.

Officers found the 58-year-old man during a raid that was carried out in a residential site north of Carlisle in October of 2018.

The raid was carried out after a call to a confidential helpline, said a report by the UniLAD.

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The police officers ended up charging  Peter Swailes Jr, 56, and his father Peter Swailes, 80, with the modern slavery conspiracy crime.

The charges came after a 3 year long investigation by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), supported by Cumbria Police and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

During their search of the property, the GLAA and the NCA officers found the 6 foot shed with no heating, a soiled duvet on the floor and a metered television.

The GLAA said that the victim, who was not named, told the police that he had lived in the shed for 40 years and was forced to work on farms, painting, slating and tarmacking, for as little as £10 per day.

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Swailes Jr, of Cryndlbeck Stables, Low Harker, Carlisle, pleaded guilty on modern day slavery at Carlisle Crown Court on January 18, 2022.

He had previously pleaded not guilty to conspiring with his father to arrange and facilitate the travel of an individual between 2015 and 2019 with a view to him being exploited. 

The father denied the charge and he passed away last year.

The charge dates back to July 2015, when the legislation came into force under the Modern Slavery Act, however, the investigators have expressed belief that the victim had been explited over the course of several decades. 

After being rescued by the authorities, the victim was medically examined and assessed by the specialist trauma officers.

A senior investigating officer described him as being traumatized and said he had been living in conditions that no human being should live in.

Right now, the victim lives in a supported accommodation outside Cumbria. 

Martin Plimmer, a GLAA Senior Investigating Officer, said that complex investigation has thrown up numerous challenges along the way and added that he had wanted to pay tribute to the dedication and professionalism of his investigators in dealing with the case.

Talking about the incident, he said:

First and foremost in my mind at this time though is the victim. We are sadly all too aware of the fact that he will be traumatised by his experience for the rest of his life. I am committed to ensuring he continues to have the regular, consistent support he needs which allows him to lead as normal a life as he can in the circumstances.

Swailes Jr was bailed until sentencing on February 4, 2022.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the 58-year-old man. 

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