TPR and I were setting down to watch a 1970s film in the upstairs drawing room of the White House when we sensed that we were not alone. After a quick check behind the furniture revealed nothing, we sat back down again to pick up the plot of the movie. Then there was another, more distinct sound. This time we could tell that it came from behind the green velvet curtains.
Hiding by the window was a naked man! In his early 20s, all that he was carrying was a small document that revealed his identity as an Indian national. We guessed immediately that he was a refugee. I sent TPR to fetch some clothes from SEH’s bedroom while I comforted our unexpected visitor and told him not to be frightened. TPR returned with a black T shirt and an old pair of Marks and Spencers trousers.
Then, as if from nowhere, another person suddenly appeared. This refugee looked like he was from Africa. Fortunately he was already dressed. Now we had two people to look after.
I was just wondering how we would care for them when another three men emerged from behind the sofa. This was now beginning to get complicated, especially since the one with dirty blond hair was evidently a local man.
Small, scrawny – and somewhat shifty – he was obviously from Stockton-on-Tees. He hurried along the upstairs hall to make a bid for the staircase and a quick exit from the back of the house. The moment that I grabbed him I understood his role. He made extra cash trafficking refugees while dealing drugs.
It was his car parked outside that had brought the other men to our house, and which he hoped would provide his getaway. I was determined that he would not escape, but brought to justice instead.