A MAN who pleaded guilty to offences committed when he was a child victim of trafficking has had six convictions quashed by Croydon Crown Court.
“Mr I”, whose identity cannot be revealed due to the nature of the case, pleaded guilty to a range of offences including burglary, robbery and possession of cannabis between 2012 and 2014.
In 2018, the Home Office decided that Mr I had been trafficked both into and within the United Kingdom for the purposes of forced labour and forced criminality.
The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) referred the six convictions after an investigation found that the Crown Prosecution Service failed to follow its own guidance around victims of trafficking, despite clear evidence that was available from the time of his arrest through to his sentencing.
Helen Pitcher OBE, Chair of CCRC said:
“There is clear guidance on crimes committed by vulnerable trafficked children, but this sad case shows that miscarriages of justice still happen.
“It seems likely that Mr I would not have been convicted of these offences had proper enquiries been made and correct legal advice given.
“We urge any trafficking victims who feel they have received an unjust conviction to contact the CCRC and we will investigate their case at no cost to the applicant.”
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.
Notes to editors
- The conviction was overturned in Croydon Crown Court in February 2023
- The CCRC referred the case in February 2022 because despite indicators of his trafficked status being present at the time of his arrests for these offences, neither the police, Crown Prosecution Service, courts nor Mr I’s defence lawyers took any action.
- This amounted to an abuse of process bearing in mind the UK’s obligations under Article 26 of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.