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  • Writer's pictureCounty Lines

Real Talk

For seven months, I was victim to a gang of drug dealers imprison me in my own home, after forcefully gaining entry. However, during the months I was held hostage by the gang, it became evidently clear to me that I wasn’t the only victim. Some members of the gang were victims in their own right.

Regardless of our individual circumstances, we were all victims of exploitation.

Exploitation; abhorrent, disgusting, atrocious, appalling, devastating, life changing. One of the worst, most severe, frowned upon crimes that can be committed. In my personal opinion that is.

Now I’ll tell you what happened to me. After I had suffered 7 long months of imprisonment, at the hands of a violent gang, who used my home to commit criminal activity without my consent. While I used all manner of different means, to make 13 desperate attempts at reaching out for help to the authorities, ensuring that my pleas for rescue got heard- whilst simultaneously remaining anonymous.

I was subject to relentless mental torture and physical abuse. I was financially drained, my bills went unpaid. I was beaten, starved, sleep deprived, drugged, ridiculed and threatened in their efforts to break me. This was for two reasons; 1. To keep me quiet, to give each gang member 100% reassurance that I wouldn’t snitch, or grass them up to the police if circumstances meant they couldn’t keep eyes on me 24 hours a day. 2. To bend me to their will, make me compliant, make use of my presence by turning me into their personal slave.

But the thing was, neither form of abuse worked. Once a person has been broken- that person can’t be broken anymore. I was already broken as a result of the different forms of abuse I had been victim of from a very young age.

So the gang switched tactics and went to extraordinary lengths to make me look complicit in their activities. I was fucked.

  1. They sent messages from my phone number, to other members of the gang with claims of involvement in their illegal activities. I could not prove I didn’t write those texts myself.

  2. They stashed weapons, drugs, and rolls of cash throughout my home. I was made very aware of this fact, but was never made privy to where it was hidden. Lack of physical evidence meant I would be unable to dispute ownership.

  3. I made 13 ANONYMOUS attempts for help. When I informed the police their information was from ME, I had no way to prove that.

However, the day the gang led a new runner into my home, a small, scruffily dressed boy age 14. Eyes wide with fear, clenching a bag filled with shots worth a street value of £2,000. Who was to work the night shift ALONE. My fears of criminal records, prison sentences, losing my life and my freedom completely abated. In my view, the rules of life shift when you’re an adult, and a minor is bought into the equation.

I was witnessing first hand, the exploitation of a child. It made no difference that I didn’t know that child personally. As the adult, I had a duty to take responsibility for that child’s safety. Therefore, if that meant I had to grass, sacrifice my life, shoulder the blame or lose my freedom to keep that child safe from harm- then so be it.

Naïvely, the thought never occurred to me that in my quest to stop this child from being exploited- I would be accused of being the exploiter.

By that point, the realisation had dawned that though I was the VICTIM of a crime there was a high probability that I would be accused of being the criminal. So why did I not consider the possibility it would be the same with regards to the exploitation of the boy.

Unbelievably, my situation became even worse. I was being accused and prosecuted for possession of class A drugs, intent to supply class A drugs, conspiracy in the supply of class A drugs, concern in the supply of class A drugs, money laundering, the handling and possession of stolen goods, child grooming, child exploitation, modern day slavery, allowing my home to be used as a base for criminal activity, distributing weapons to minors, the list went on…

The outcome was all the stress caused my immune system to collapse. It caused irreversible damage to my organs. I am terminally ill.

But I can honestly say, had I known the cruel consequences to this horrendous situation at the beginning…it wouldn’t have made any difference to my actions and decisions.

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