We represented a vulnerable young man who had been charged with offences of possession with intent to supply class A drugs, possession of criminal property and possession of a bladed article. At the time of the alleged offences, our client was only 17 years old.

In light of the facts of the alleged offences, we had concerns that our client may have been a victim of child criminal exploitation. We instructed Dr Grace Robinson, an expert in child criminal exploitation, to meet with our client and prepare a report. Dr Robinson confirmed that in her expert opinion, our client was a victim of child criminal exploitation at the time of the alleged offences. We were also able to obtain copies of correspondence between the police and other professionals which confirmed that at the early stages of their investigation into this matter, the police also had concerns that our client may have been exploited by others. We subsequently provided a copy of Dr Robinson’s report to the Crown Prosecution Service and made written representations in which we argued that the Crown should not proceed with the case against our client.

After considering our representations, and Dr Robinson’s report, the Crown Prosecution Service offered no evidence against our client and formal not guilty verdicts were recorded in relation to all matters.

Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves, a solicitor in our Croydon Crime Team, and in Court by Alex Rooke of 5 St Andrews Hill Chambers.