Pair forced Leicester man to live in shed without a toilet or heating

A man from Leicestershire was forced to live in a freezing shed for a year after his ex-girlfriend met a new man.

Chris Chapman, 59, lived in the shed at the bottom of 55-year-old Julie Marsden’s garden.

He believes he suffered from “Stockholm Syndrome” after becoming dependent on Marsden and being abused by her partner.

The pair were in court yesterday and Marsden pleaded guilty to coercive behaviour and Gary Cooper admitted helping her. They were jailed for 16 months and 15 months respectively.


The court heard that after meeting in 2006, Marsden persuaded Chapman to sell his house and move into her home. She then took control of his bank accounts and benefits.

But their relationship broke down and Chapman became a victim of abuse.

Mr Chapman was forced to live in a shed thorough the freezing winter

Marsden then invited Cooper to move in with her in 2016 and the abuse got worse. After an argument on New Year’s Day 2017, Chapman was told to move into the shed in the garden.

He was forced to use a bucket as a toilet, physically abused and fed so badly he lost seven stones. He lived in the shed for a year until the neighbours found out.

Chapman said he stayed in the shed because he had no contact with anyone else and feared being made homeless.

Chapman has waived his right to anonymity to encourage other victims to come forward.

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