Prosecutors dropped charges against an alleged teen drug dealer who claimed he was a modern-day slave.

Shuaib Hussain, 22, had been charged with dealing heroin and crack cocaine in Oxford on April 13, 2019.

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He denied the offences, raising a defence under the Modern Slavery Act that he was being forced to commit the crimes. His lawyers referred the case to the Home Office for specialists to consider whether he was a ‘modern-day slave’ in a process known as the National Referral Mechanism.

Appearing before Oxford Crown Court via video link on Monday morning, prosecutor Kaj Scarsbrook said: “Following a National Referral Mechanism decision, the Crown carefully reviewed the case. In all the circumstances the Crown has decided to offer no evidence in this case.”

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Recorder David Mayall formally recorded not guilty verdicts. Hussain, of Alder Crescent, Luton, was not present in court but was represented in his absence by Bethan Chichester.