We represented a vulnerable young adult who had been charged with offences of being concerned in the supply of class B drugs and possession of an offensive weapon. It was the Crown’s case that our client was operating a drugs line and, when they were arrested, they were found to be in possession of a large hunting knife. Our client was a young person at the time of the alleged offences and had previously been identified to be a victim of modern slavery. Following their arrest, our client was referred to the National Referral Mechanism and found to be a victim of modern slavery once again.
At our client’s first appearance, we made representations that the case should be discontinued in light of this decision, however, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that the case had been reviewed and they were proceeding with the prosecution of our client. We subsequently obtained further information from the competent authority and renewed our representations to the Crown Prosecution Service; arguing that they should discontinue the case in accordance with their guidance on prosecuting victims of modern slavery. After considering our representations, the Crown offered no evidence against our client and not guilty verdicts were recorded.
Our client was represented by Sabrina Neves, a solicitor in our specialist Youth Justice Team, and in Court by Gerard Pitt of Garden Court Chambers.