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Crown Court quashes human trafficking victim’s convictions 

The Crown Court has quashed a human trafficking victim’s convictions after a Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referral. 

Ms AAC in April 2003, May 2004 and September 2018 pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining property by deception, using a false instrument for other than prescription drugs, entering the United Kingdom without leave, and theft.  

At the time of her 2018 conviction, there were clear indicators that she was a victim of trafficking, which were not investigated, and she was not advised of a possible defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.   

The CCRC considered that there was a real possibility that Ms AAC’s earlier convictions were an abuse of process because she was not afforded the protection to which victims of trafficking are entitled. 

Ms AAC’s convictions arose from guilty pleas in the Magistrates’ Court, and she had no ordinary right of appeal.  As a result, the CCRC considered there were exceptional circumstances that justified the referral in the absence of a prior appeal.  

The CCRC referred the case in January 2024, and the convictions were quashed by the court on 26 March 2024. 


  1. This press release has been anonymised due to restrictions put into place by the Court of Appeal when Ms AAC’s other convictions were quashed.  
  2. The CCRC is an independent body set up under the Criminal Appeal Act 1995. It is responsible for independently reviewing suspected and alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is based in Birmingham and is funded by the Ministry of Justice.   
  3. There are currently 10 Commissioners who bring to the CCRC considerable experience from a wide variety of backgrounds. Commissioners are appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the Prime Minister in accordance with the Office for the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice.  The Chairman, who is also a Commissioner, is not involved in the casework decision-making process.       
  4. The CCRC usually receives around 1,400 applications for reviews (convictions and/or sentences) each year. Since starting work in 1997, the CCRC has referred around 3% of applications to the appeal courts.   
  5. The CCRC considers whether, as a result of new evidence or argument, there is a real possibility that the conviction would not be upheld were a reference to be made. New evidence or argument is argument or evidence which has not been raised during the trial or on appeal.  Applicants should usually have appealed first. A case can be referred in the absence of new evidence or argument or an earlier appeal only if there are “exceptional circumstances”.   
  6. If a case is referred, it is then for the appeal court to decide whether the conviction is unsafe or the sentence unfair.   
  7. More details about the role and work of the Criminal Cases Review Commission can be found at The CCRC can be found on Twitter @ccrcupdate and Instagram the_ccrc