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Wife treated disabled husband ‘like dog’ until Holby City star sister found him

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    The cheating wife of a disabled man and his carer have been convicted of enslaving him.

    Sarah Somerset-How, 49, and her lover George Webb treated her husband Tom "like a dog" and kept him in "disgusting" conditions until he was discovered by his soap star sister, a court heard.

    The pair were found guilty yesterday (Friday, May 12) of holding a person in slavery of servitude following a four-week trial at Portsmouth Crown Court.

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    Mr Somerset-How, 40, requires round-the-clock care for cerebral palsy but was taken advantage of by his wife and Webb, 50, who struck up an affair with Mrs Somerset-How after being employed by the couple as a carer.

    Mr Somerset-How's actress twin sister, Kate Somerset-Holmes, told the court she found her brother "very very thin" and "smelling terrible" after she gained access to him by ambushing his carer.

    Somerset-Holmes, who has appeared in TV shows including Silent Witness and Holby City, said: "Tom smelt terrible, like he hadn't been washed in weeks.

    "Tom was very, very thin. His nails were long, and his hair was greasy. He hadn't been shaved in weeks. I asked if he was okay, but he obviously wasn't."

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    Mr Somerset-How met his wife through a friend in 2008, while he was recovering from a surgery.

    The pair moved into a purpose-built home in Chichester, West Sussex, in 2010.

    In 2016 Webb, working for healthcare agency NursePlus, moved into the couple's home to provide round-the-clock care.

    Somerset-How admitted she became "intimate" with Webb for six months in 2016 and again briefly in 2019, while Webb said the couple told him their relationship had been over since 2013.

    During this time they used their victim as a "cash cow", spending his inheritance on luxury goods like lingerie and designer handbags.

    Texts from Webb to his mistress read: "Get rid of him. Go find yourself a man. I think you need to leave Tom and get your life back."

    Meanwhile Mr Somerset-How spent 90% of the time in bed and was only allowed to shower once a week while being fed a diet of just crisps and a sandwich, the court heard.

    He eventually managed to inform a friend about his treatment, who then alerted his parents who staged a rescue in "an operation that had the marks of extracting someone as a hostage", the court heard.

    Prosecutor Paul Cavin said the adulterous pair treated their victim "like a piece of property".

    "Every aspect of his life was controlled," Mr Cavin told the court. "His remaining independence he had was taken away from him by the defendants.

    "He became a prisoner in his own home. He was entirely dependent on his abusers to stay alive."

    Webb and Somerset-How were found guilty of holding a person in slavery of servitude by jurors after just over 12 hours of deliberation.

    Webb was also convicted of ill-treatment by a care worker and Somerset-How, an executive assistant who has worked for the likes of KPMG and Irwin Mitchell, was additionally found guilty of aiding and abetting him from 2017 to 2020.

    Webb was also found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) against Mr Somerset-How after he hit him with a shoe.

    Judge William Ashworth ruled: "There is ample evidence that Tom was held as if he was a cattle or animal."

    Webb and Somerset-How were also found not guilty over alleged ill-treatment prior to 2017 and Somerset-How was found not guilty of fraud and theft of allegations she had "plundered" £12,000 of her husband's inheritance.

    Somerset-How and Webb will be sentenced at a later date.

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