A British couple has been arrested for enslaving a man for four years in their shed.
Pritpal Binning and her spouse Palvinder, from Chilworth, near Southhampton, were arrested on Tuesday for modern slavery. They reportedly forced a Polish man to work for expired food and sleep on a plastic sun lounger. He also had no access to a flushing toilet.
The duo was arrested after medics alerted authorities when the Polish man, believed to be in his 40s, entered a walk-in health centre and told staff members he was forced to work for food.
Tony Byrne, senior investigating officer at the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority, which is Britain’s anti-slavery body, said: “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. I would also like to praise the NHS staff who reported their concerns. It’s really important that people get in touch if they believe someone is being exploited.
“By contacting us, we can ensure that some of the most vulnerable people in society are protected and supported.”
A male neighbour in his 40s, told Mail Online that he had seen a white man working around the Binnings’ property, but was shocked to hear of the allegations against the couple.
He said: “I did go round there once, a few years back. They’ve lived here for at least 20 years – they were certainly nice when I went round there. I saw the police there the other day and one of the vans actually parked outside my house for a little while.
“It’s shocked me hearing what has been reported to have happened. I have seen a white guy walking past my house with a trailer full of rubbish.
“He stopped to talk to my gardener once and she [Pritpal] came out and told him off for chatting. The house has changed a lot now, the building work has been going on for about a year now but that particular man was around before that.”
Britain is home to an estimated 136,000 slaves, according to Australian rights group Walk Free Foundation, and the latest arrest comes just weeks after officers rescued another potential slavery victim who had lived in a shed for 40 years.