Modern Slavery & County Lines – Successful Discontinuance


Arlene Mansoor, Senior Associate, was instructed to represent a young victim of modern slavery and has achieved a successful discontinuance of his case. The youth client, ‘S’, was charged with drug supply offences but protested his involvement was not a choice. He is one of many children and vulnerable adults found to have been exploited by gangs and organised criminal networks, involved in the supply of drugs.

Despite the Home Office National Referral Mechanism (NRM) identifying S as being a victim of county lines human trafficking, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) sought to bring the case to trial.

Expert evidence was obtained on behalf of S, and as a result of compelling pre-trial written representations regarding his vulnerability and own victim status, the CPS confirmed they no longer wished to prosecute, thereby discontinuing the proceedings.

The result ensured a young victim of trafficking did not become a victim of miscarriage of justice.

County lines operations are a frequent presence on the landscape of criminal law. Young people are increasingly pressured, or coerced, into unlawful drug activity on behalf of others.

Arlene Mansoor, assisted by Toby Manhire, delivered a positive result in this case. Danielle Barden of Counsel, 5 St Andrew’s Hill (5SAH), was instructed and played a pivotal role in the preparatory stages.

Shearman Bowen has extensive experience in representing vulnerable clients and young people, and has expertise in matters concerning modern slavery. For more information on the services Shearman Bowen offers those accused of serious crime, including youth clients and victims of coercion, please contact Arlene Mansoor or Toby Manhire.