• County Lines

It's not just children that are vulnerable

When it dawned that I was being cuckooed, and the blame was going to fall squarely on my shoulders, I realised I had to start being proactive to prove my innocence.

That's why I started writing this blog. On the rare occasions I didn't have a gang member watching me, I'd scarper to the toilet and hastily write posts detailing anything I thought would be important, which I couldn't afford to forget.

I was under the watchful eyes of the gang for the entirety of the time they held me hostage. The consequences of snitching were made clear. If I approached the police, asked for help, gave any details; I'd be killed.

I remember clearly one day being on my hands and knees sobbing my eyes out. The boss was there and I wanted confirmation that he understood the outcome for me, of his gang committing criminal activity in my home.

"Stashing G-packs and rolls of cash in my home, hidden in my belongings, means that I will be charged for possession"

I said


He replied

"Using my phone to send messages to organise reloading and distributing drugs makes me look complicit"

I whined


He answered

He was completely devoid of emotion replying to me and even informed me that looking complicit was the best case scenario; for the manner in which they have used my phone to communicate meant that I looked like I was in charge. I was him in the eyes of the police!

Low and behold, on the day of the drugs raid seven months later, I was taken into custody and charged with;

  1. Possession of class-a drugs

  2. Intent to supply class-a drugs

  3. Conspiracy to supply class-a drugs

  4. Concern in the supply of class-a drugs

  5. Money laundering

  6. Possession and handling of stolen goods

  7. Child grooming

The blog detailing as much as I could was written off as fiction. I was a fantasist.

My broken, bruised and battered body- a result of the abuse I suffered from the gang members- was declared self inflicted. I had done it myself.

I could not prove that the reason I did not ring the police was due to having no access to any form of communication, or that I was in fear for my life. I was accused of allowing the gang to commit criminal activity in my home.

I could not prove I had not sent the messages from my phone.

I could not prove the drugs and cash did not belong to me. There was no DNA or fingerprint evidence; so it came down to being automatically guilty for the sole reason they were found in my home.

The police named me the criminal, not the victim.

When I was released from police custody and the gang turned up at my front door armed with knives and machetes; I was told by a 999 operator to dial the non emergency number and find somewhere to hide. 18 hours later, a police car rolled up outside. When the female officer saw the consequences of trying to reassure the gang that I had kept my mouth shut- she cried.

A year later, my friend lost her children into the system because it took me too long to prove to the social services I was not a child groomer.

I undertook my own DBS check, released my medical records, did parenting courses, while the two kids; one who had just started school; drew me as the one person they trusted and loved most in the world, while the other; a teenager; sent me photos of him self harming alongside desperate pleas for me to save them.

The social services eventually approached me with an apology begging me to care for the children. The little one had gone mute and refused to talk. The teenager had attempted suicide. But by then, I had a criminal record for a crime I was wrongly accused of, and had been a victim of. The police would not allow me to step in and help.

Four years later, the youngest is still mute, trapped in the system. The eldest disappeared and hasn't been seen for two years.

An investigation into the actions of the police was undertaken by the IOPC for 3 counts of neglect and failure in duty. The charges weren't upheld.

During the investigation, it came to light that the police knew about my circumstances for the entire 7 months, and had left me there as a last ditch attempt to catch a County Lines gang that they couldn't catch themselves. Unknowingly I had been left their to soak up information to pass onto the police. If not voluntarily, then forcefully.

They failed in their attempts to extract that information from me.

In the process of being accused, arrested and charged for 11 crimes I had not committed, and spending the consecutive year being bullied by a police force with one hell of a grudge...

  • I lost my home and all my belongings

  • My immune system collapsed

  • I suffered from 4 episodes of respiratory failure and one stroke

  • Two innocent children were psychologically scarred for life

It's not just children that are vulnerable.

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