The miscarriage of justice watchdog is sending the case of a trafficked child found working in a cannabis farm to the Crown Court. Five years ago the boy then aged 17 years old pleaded guilty to the production of cannabis.
According to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, at the time of his there was evidence that he was a likely victim of trafficking and had a defence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015 however his lawyers at the time did not advise him of this. The watchdog has decided that there is a real possibility that the section 45 defence would have succeeded in this case and that the prosecution of Mr K amounted to an abuse of process.
‘This is a sad case involving a vulnerable trafficked child who was also a victim of modern slavery,’ commented Helen Pitcher OBE, chair of CCRC. ‘Had CPS guidance been followed, and the correct legal advice given, it seems unlikely that he would have been convicted of these offences in the first place.’