When the British Transport Police arrested our client for fare evasion in Archway Underground station, he was too frightened to tell them the truth behind the situation.
The number of potential victims of modern-day slavery victims in the UK grew to 10,000 in 2020. Their struggles are seemingly invisible to most people unaffected by this problem.
Last year, our client was arrested by police in Islington, North London at Archway Tube Station.
He was charged with several offences by police including travelling on a railway without fare, assault by beating of an emergency worker, Possession with Intent to Supply Class A drugs on two counts and the possession of a knife.
Our client and his family gave us instructions that he had been the victim of modern-day slavery and suffered from severe bipolar disorder. His life had been controlled and coerced by the people controlling him.
A group of men coerced our client into selling Class A drugs, crack cocaine, and began to forcibly squat the young man’s home.
When our client was arrested, he was further threatened and intimidated by this group of men for “losing the drugs”.
Our client subsequently lost his home and became homeless on the streets of London for several months.
To demonstrate our client’s case, serious crime solicitor Duygu Basiguzel made a series of applications to The National Referral Mechanism (NRM) to confirm that our client was indeed a victim of modern-day slavery.
The four-stage test by the NRM necessary to determine if an individual is a victim of modern-day slavery was met. Duygu Basiguzel made representations to the court that our client was not guilty of the allegations against him due to his status as a vulnerable victim of modern-day slavery.
Duygu also worked closely with our client’s clinical psychologist to determine our client’s status as a vulnerable person due to the severity of his mental health.
Neither the court nor the crown offered any evidence against our client as a result, so the matter was discontinued before the hearing could take place.