Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Couple arrested after 'keeping Polish slave in garden shed' of Hampshire mansion for four years

The frail Polish man walked into an NHS centre and told staff he had been forced to work in exchange for food.

Pritpal Binning, 56, and her spouse Palvinder, 54, are suspected of holding him against his will and forcing him to work on their five-bedroom £1.2m house in Chilworth, near Southampton, Hampshire.

The pair were arrested on Tuesday by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) following a raid at their home.

A GLAA spokesman said: “The potential victim told the GLAA that he had been sleeping on a plastic sun lounger in the shed at the bottom of the garden and was given out-of-date food to eat.

“He also said that he had no flushing toilet and that his kitchen was a fridge and barbecue.”

The spokesman added that the man, who is in his 40s, has been accepted into the government’s national referral mechanism – a process for ensuring victims of modern slavery and human trafficking are given the help and support that they need.

The suspects have been released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Tony Byrne, GLAA senior investigating officer, said: “We are pleased that the man is now receiving the help and support he so desperately needs. In the 21st century, no one should be forced to live in such degrading and disgusting conditions.

“Following the two arrests we made, our investigation is ongoing as we examine and assess the evidence we collected from the property.”

The operation, which was supported by officers from Hampshire Police, was the second recent case of a potential victim living in a shed.

Earlier this month, a 79-year-old British man was arrested on suspicion of modern slavery after finding an alleged victim who is believed to have lived in a 6ft shed in Cumbria for the past 40 years.

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