A pair of teenage crack cocaine dealers who carried out a “cuckoo” operation in Scotland have been locked up for a total of four years.
But the duo had their sentences cut by a sheriff after he ruled that they had been the victims of modern slavery.
Sheriff Tom Hughes said: “I take into account the fact that you have been assessed as being victims of modern slavery.
“You are young men with appalling criminal records for persons of your age.
“As a result of your criminal activities in England, you have been associating with other, even more serious criminals down there.
“I am told you have been intimidated by your associates and as a result you have been forced into committing the crimes.
“You appear to have undertaken your criminal activities at the behest of others in England who are no doubt gaining huge financial profit from the evil that they spread from their havens down south on to the streets and community of Dundee.
“It is sad to say that you two appear to be victims of these evil criminals. They are using you.
“What is clear is that you made a positive decision to become involved. You took over and occupied the home of another person in Dundee.
“From there you actively dealt in drugs. You were violent and caused significant injuries to your victims.”
He said both should be locked up for four years, but reduced that to three as they were victims of modern slavery. It was subsequently reduced to two years each to recognise their early guilty pleas. They were both made subject to a further year’s supervised release.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard how the duo – linked to London-based Yardie gangs – abducted their ‘host’ and her friend and subjected both of them to a horrific level of violence.
Jaydon Hall, 18, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named because of his age, arrived in Dundee at the start of April and immediately moved into drug addict Nikola Walker’s home in Baxter Street to use it to peddle the Class A drug.
They both admitted that between April 1 and 26 they were concerned in the supply of cocaine at addresses in Baxter Street and Abbotsford Place.
Ms Walker was forced to move into the bedroom while the duo took over the living room and dealt crack out of the window to local addicts.
Hall admitted abducting her on April 23, preventing her from leaving, and repeatedly punching and striking her on the head to her severe injury. An allegation that he assaulted her by inserting a spoon into her was dropped from the charge.
The 17-year-old admitted abducting her friend Andrew Cusick before attacking him with a knife and causing him severe injury on April 23.
Mr Cusick reported that he had been stabbed in the arm and that the knife had plunged right through until it protruded out of the other side.
Dundee Sheriff Court was told that the duo were eventually caught with more than £10,000 worth of crack cocaine after moving to a second address.
Cuckooing refers to the practice of using violence and intimidation to take over a person’s home to use it as a base for illegal activity.