Police and charity workers have liberated a 47-year-old woman from a terraced house in the suburbs of London after being alerted to claims that she had been living there for over 20 years during which time she repeatedly had to cook, clean and iron with barely a word of thanks. A 52-year-old man, described by police as ‘a miserable git’, was arrested at the scene.
‘People think that domestic servitude is a thing of the past, but it isn’t so,’ said campaign leader Andrea Marsden. ‘Here, in 21st century Britain, something like this could still be going on in the street where you live. My case workers are already describing this as the worst case of serial insensitivity they have ever seen’.
As police continue their investigation, anti-grumpiness charities are calling for the public to be on the lookout for partners who fail to pull their weight around the house. Marsden admitted that the symptoms can be difficult to spot, but they typically include sighing, eye-rolling, disappearing to the pub whenever the words ‘We need to talk’ are mentioned and watching repeats of Top Gear on Dave.
Neighbours who witnessed the dramatic dawn raid said that they had no idea of what had been going on. ‘They seemed so quiet,’ said Mary Flack, who lives five doors down on the same housing estate. ‘We barely saw them, other than when he went out to or came home from work, when she went into town to get some shopping or when the children went to school.’
According to unconfirmed reports, two other victims were taken from the house, one of them a 15-year-old girl who has described her existence there as ‘like, pathetic’. It is understood that she has spent her whole life in the house without once going to a One Direction concert.
‘Serial abusers can be extraordinarily good at conditioning people to expect to be treated with indifference,’ said Marsden. ‘We even rescued a ten-year-old boy from the house who protested that he didn’t want to go because, as he put it, ‘Dad said he was taking me to football next weekend’. Absolutely heartbreaking.’