On 4 May 2018, Matthew Donkin and Richard Holland, led by John Elvidge QC, concluded the successful prosecution of Operation Cluster, a multi-handed Trafficking and Modern Slavery trial before HHJ Armstrong at Teesside Crown Court. The trial lasted for over 3 months and ended with the sentence of 7 Defendants to a combined total of 40 years’ imprisonment.
Matthew had been involved in the prosecution from its inception, with Richard joining as second junior in October 2017. Both were extensively involved in the preparation and presentation of the case.
With an indictment spanning a 7 year period, case papers of tens of thousands of witness statements and exhibits, 8 complainants giving evidence, many other police and civilian witnesses, and with both defendants and complainants requiring interpreters, this was a very challenging prosecution with an ultimately successful outcome.
Media coverage of the case can be found here: