Marta Zarek
Marta Zarek
Residence Gdansk, Poland
First appearance 5th February 2016
Last appearance 21st March 2016
Number of appearances 11
Played by Edyta Budnik

Marta Zarek was a young woman who was an immigrant from Gdansk in Poland and who, under threat, was made to work as a modern-day slave for Underworld clients Richie and Julia O'Driscoll in early 2016.

Aidan Connor and Eva Price attended a party at the O'Driscolls at the beginning of February, driving there in the Underworld van. Marta saw her chance of escape and smuggled herself into the back of the vehicle which took her back to Weatherfield. Once there, she bedded down in the factory hoping to make herself inconspicuous but desperation caused her to steal from the staff's belongings, making them believe that they had a thief among their own cadre.

Eva discovered her one night in the factory. Seeing that she was terrified, Eva took pity on the girl and started to bring her food. Marta told her about her ordeal - though not naming the O'Driscolls - and revealed how her family back home were also being threatened by them. She was almost discovered by Kirk Sutherland whose protestations of noises from the back of the factory were being ignored by everyone but before she could be found, she fled through the assembled group, wearing Sean Tully's new coat and pushing over Izzy Armstrong in her desperation to escape.

Marta disappeared into the streets, living rough but came back after several weeks after she had fallen ill and needed Eva's help. She was given temporary shelter at 18a Victoria Street but refused medical attention and once again attempted to abscond. This time, Billy Mayhew helped Eva prevent her escape and the two heard the full story from the girl as well as the identity of her persecutors. Eva vowed to help the girl who told them that the O'Driscolls still held her passport. Going to another dinner party at the O'Driscolls with Aidan, Eva attempted to find the document but was caught and sacked for her pains after the O'Driscolls gave their side of the story, claiming the girl had stolen from them and been fired. Marta herself did not help matters by leaving her refuge at St. Mary's Rectory with £20 of Billy's money and his mobile phone.

Using the tracker app, Billy and Eva found Marta, living under a bridge in Bolton, and demanded some answers from her. Billy took her back to the O'Driscolls where Julia sweetly greeted the girl and took her inside, firmly shutting him out. A few days later, Billy and Eva checked up on the girl and were told that she had returned home but as they were leaving, Eva swore that she caught a glimpse of Marta at an upstairs window. Aidan's suspicions also became aroused when he visited the couple and saw Julia padlocking a bedroom door.

Billy and Eva put into effect a rescue attempt when the O'Driscolls were at a trade fair. They broke into their house and found Marta locked in the bedroom but were caught when the O'Driscolls returned early. Richie began assaulting Billy and Eva but they were rescued by Aidan who had followed the two there. The police were called and arrests were made of virtually everyone involved but it was only the O'Driscolls who were prosecuted, for offences under section 1 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015. A few days later, a happy and smartened-up Marta was brought into the Rovers by Aidan to say goodbye and "thank you" to Eva before she returned home to her family.

List of appearancesEdit


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