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Stephanie Panchkowry successfully ran a modern slavery defence in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs trial

08/05/2024

Stephanie Panchkowry successfully ran a modern slavery defence. Not guilty verdicts were secured for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs, namely crack cocaine and heroin and possession of criminal property.

The defendant on his own admission, stated that he was involved in the supply of Class A drugs for the duration of a year, however, stated that he was the victim of modern slavery, being compelled to supply drugs due to threats made by a gang. When he was arrested, he had numerous wraps of crack cocaine and heroin in his boxer shorts and was in possession of two mobile phones; a burner phone and an iPhone. The phones were downloaded. The burner phone was the drugs line, sending out bulk drug messages and the iPhone contained details of price lists, tick lists and drug deals in the note section of the phone, along with drug messages. At his home address, £2,630 in cash was found, along with two sets of digital scales. There were also hotel bookings made in his name, where he went to stay, on his own admission, to cut up drugs. He admitted that he was paid £100-200 every other day by the gang, along with receiving universal credit in the amount of £400 per month, with additional savings in his bank account from previous work.

The defendant was referred to the National Referral Mechanism and there was a positive reasonable grounds decision, however the defendant refused to provide a statement to the Single Competent Authority and therefore the final determination of whether he was a victim of modern slavery was inconclusive.

Stephanie was instructed by Ben Darabi of Carson Kaye Solicitors.

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