A female victim of trafficking has had her conviction for possession of a false passport overturned in the Court of Appeal. The woman was represented by Shahida Begum.
The woman had been stopped in 2012 when attempting to leave the UK with a passport which did not belong to her. She had pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment. In her police interview and in mitigation she had raised indicators to suggest she had been trafficked to the UK, but no investigations were made. Crucially, the CPS failed to consider whether the woman should have been prosecuted at all.
The case further highlights the need for the UKBA, the police and the CPS to be aware of trafficking issues, and how to identify potential victims.
Shahida represented the defendant at appeal. She was instructed by Dalton Holmes Gray Solicitors, after the client had been referred to them by the Poppy Project.