More details are emerging about three women who had been kept as slaves in London for 30 years.
Police say they had been beaten during their time in captivity, controlled emotionally and brainwashed. They added that there was no evidence of sexual abuse.
One of the victims called a charity for help after watching a documentary on forced marriages. The Freedom Charity then worked with the police to help gain the women’s trust and free them.
It’s being described as the worst case of domestic servitude ever to emerge in Britain.
Kevin Hyland, Head of the Metropolitan Police’s human trafficking unit, said: “We have seen some cases where people have been held for up to 10 years, but we’ve never seen anything of this magnitude before.”
A man and woman both aged 67 and foreign nationals have been arrested and bailed until January. Police say they had been arrested before in the 1970s although no more details were given.
For local residents there was a mixture of emotions. On woman said: “I’m appalled but sadly I’m not surprised actually. I was just walking along thinking about how easily I think that can happen in central London and I am very saddened to hear that these women have been through what they have been through but sadly I am not surprised.”
Police say the 30-year-old Briton, 69-year-old Malaysian and 57-year-old Irish woman had not been trafficked and their case was not being linked to any other groups.
Prime Minister David Cameron has described the case as “utterly appalling”.