For 13 long years Anna Ruston was held prisoner inside her abductor’s home, relentlessly beaten and used a sex slave.
Her harrowing story, told for the first time today, has chilling echoes of those of world-famous kidnap victims Natascha Kampusch , Jaycee Lee Dugard, Elizabeth Smart, and Elisabeth Fritzl .
Yet this all happened here in the UK.
Mostly locked in a bedroom, Anna’s only contact with the outside world came on rare hospital visits for brutal injuries and the birth of four children.
These innocents, the result of repeated rapes, would later be sold on by the monster.
Through these hospital visits, he would remain by her side, posing as her husband – yet she was too petrified to speak out.
“I can still see that bedroom, the corner where I would rock in pain. Although after a while I stopped feeling pain, I think my body shut down,” she says. “And I can smell it – the can I used as a toilet, the garlic he reeked of. I got to the point where I didn’t know what life was.”
Anna only stayed sane, she recalls, by talking to her late grandmother – the woman who brought her up when her parents rejected her.
That, and by looking at a small ragged photo of her first boyfriend, Jamie, which she kept hidden under a floorboard.
Just 15 when first imprisoned, Anna, whose name has been changed for her safety, has never felt strong enough to give evidence to bring her captor to justice. The police have tried to change her mind, even revealing a later victim is willing to speak out if she does.
But as part of her therapy, she has written her story in a new book, Secret Slave. She hopes, in time, she will be able to take her captor to court.
Anna told how she was a vulnerable teen staying with a friend of her mum’s before she was lured by Malik – an Asian taxi driver who worked at the Midlands rank where she helped out.
“My nana died when I was ten and my parents didn’t want me,” Anna explains.
Her story bears similarities to those of young white girls, often in care, who have been groomed by convicted Asian sex gangs across the UK.
“If anyone showed me affection I grabbed hold of that,” she adds. “Malik would ask me how I was. It was nice to have someone interested.