SPC working with Garden Court Chambers have won an astounding victory at the High Court for a vulnerable victim of human trafficking who was facing deportation following a conviction for cultivation of cannabis. The victim a vulnerable young man was trafficked to the UK through Poland and made to work in a cannabis farm. He was arrested and convicted for cultivation of cannabis despite overwhelming evidence that he was a potential victim of trafficking. His case was never investigated by the police and like many victims he was never treated as a victim. This is despite the fact that the UK have signed EC Directive 36/2011 including the non-criminalisation clause.
UK law enforcement needs to address the fact that they need to examine the circumstances of each vulnerable person that they encounter and investigate the circumstances. This especially applies to children and other young adults engaged in low level criminal activity. It is not difficult. How does a poorly educated boy fund travel half way around the world, rent a house, purchse £10,000 worth of hydroponic equipment, find the seeds locally when he doesn't read or write Vietnamese let alone English!
While the non recognition of the victim is a huge injustice it is also an opportunity missed. The gang behind the true crime of human trafficking was never identified or investigated. They are allowed to continue with their criminal enterprise running a large number of premises, grossing vast amounts of cash and trafficking more victims to put to work as their 'gardeners'.
Expert witness statements clearly showed the court that the victim had been trafficked and his deportation delayed and hopefully he will now receive the protection that he deserved at the outset.