LONDON (AP) — A man in northwest England pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to exploiting a vulnerable victim who was found living in a garden shed that had been his home for 40 years.
The victim was rescued in October 2018 when officers from the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority searched a trailer park in Carlisle and discovered him living in the shed, which had no light or heat, the agency said.
The man, now in his early 60s, told investigators that he worked on farms, doing painting, roofing and paving work for which he was paid as little as 10 pounds ($13.50) a day. The man now lives in supported accommodation in another community.
“This is something that even now I struggle to comprehend,” Senior Investigating Officer Martin Plimmer said in a statement. “For four decades he was in effect kept as a slave.”
Peter Swailes, 56, pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of conspiracy to organize the travel of a person for the purpose of exploiting him. He entered the plea shortly before his trial was scheduled to begin. Swailes’ father died last year before he could stand trial on the same charge.