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A drug dealer from Andover has been jailed after admitting an offence under modern slavery laws – the first conviction of its kind in Hampshire.
Kadeem Hibbert, 18, arranged travel for a 13-year-old boy with a view to exploiting him by getting him to deal Class A drugs, Winchester Crown Court heard.
Hibbert, of Livia Close, Andover, also admitted separate offences of being concerned in the supply of both crack cocaine and heroin in the town.
The court heard that in October last year, officers arrested a 13-year-old boy in Andover. He was found with a knife and wraps of heroin and crack cocaine.
Subsequent enquiries led officers to believe that Hibbert was using the boy to deal Class A drugs.
The court heard Hibbert had arranged the boy’s travel to Andover, and then his travel within Andover for a nine-day period in October last year.
Hibbert would call the boy after sending out a bulk text message to drug users, the court was told. The boy was arrested shortly after Hibbert had sent one of these texts.
On 26 November, officers carried out a warrant at Hibbert’s home in Andover and found wraps of heroin and cash.
Hibbert was arrested and charged with the offence under the Modern Slavery Act 2015, as well as the two drugs supply offences.
The boy was released with no further action.
Today (Wednesday 26 February), Hibbert was jailed for two years and seven months, following the hearing at Winchester Crown Court.
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Tom Bailey said: “This is the first time we have been able to use modern slavery laws to secure the conviction of a drug dealer.
“Hibbert exploited a vulnerable young boy to peddle Class A drugs in Andover for his own financial gain.
“This case shows we will use all legislation available to us to target criminals who exploit vulnerable children and adults to deal these harmful substances.”
Modern Slavery takes many forms and could involve someone who is: • Forced to work• Owned or controlled by an ‘employer’• Dehumanised• Treated as a commodity or property• Restricted by someone else in relation to their freedom of movement Further details relating to Modern Day Slavery can be found here: http://www.modernslaverypartnership.org.uk/ You can also report any information or suspicious activity in complete confidence via the Modern Slavery helpline (@mshelpline) on 0800 012 1700.
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