Emily Hassell successfully advances modern slavery defence in youth drug supply case

February 21, 2023

Emily Hassell of Exchange Chambers has secured the acquittal of a youth defendant charged with possession of a machete and multiple counts of supplying Class A drugs to undercover officers.

After months of careful liaison with Children’s Services, the Youth Offending Team, and Leeds City Council, the statutory defence under s.45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 was successfully advanced at trial.

The Prosecution relied on the defendant’s lack of cooperation and sought to adduce highly prejudicial police evidence, which was subsequently excluded under the bad character and hearsay provisions. The Court found that the Prosecution had not raised sufficient evidence to disprove the defendant’s account and accordingly allowed the defence to succeed.

Emily was instructed by Tal Speigal of Sugare & Co.