GT Stewart represented a vulnerable adult charged with four offences of supplying heroin and crack cocaine (Class A) to undercover police officers during a three month period. The evidence consisted of video recordings and statements from the officers, which was not disputed by our client.
Our client had a long history of mental health issues and has been a drug user for most of his adult life. On his arrest, he confirmed that several members of a local criminal gang had come to his flat with a machete and forced him to sell drugs for them. The gang occupied our client’s flat for over three months and during that time he had no choice other than to do as he was told. Our client was so frightened of what they would do to him that he confirmed that he would rather go to prison than identify them because even in prison he would not be safe.
Our client was charged and appeared before Leeds Magistrates’ Court when he was represented by Patricia Walker from the Leeds office. She identified the issues in the case before the District Judge and discussed the defence in detail with the CPS lawyer, who was not aware that our client had relied on the defence afforded to him under s.45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 when he was interviewed.
Our client’s case, along with several other defendants, was directed to be dealt with at Leeds Crown Court, however, the Crown discontinued the case against our client two days after the hearing.