1. ITV Report

Cheshire man charged with modern slavery offences

A man from Cheshire has been charged with modern slavery after being accused of forcing a teenager to be a drug dealer.

Anthony McCosh, 24, and from Winsford, was arrested at a Cleethorpes hotel last week and charged with committing two slavery offences involving the 17-year-old boy and a vulnerable adult.

It is believed to be the first time someone has been charged under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act in North East Lincolnshire.

His arrest at the Hanging Gardens of Babylon hotel in Market Street, formerly Sugar, Sugar, came during a series of raids by the National Crime Agency and Humberside Police.

McCosh, who is also believed to have links to Liverpool and Dover, is accused of making the teenager and man “perform forced or compulsory labour” by selling drugs between August 1 last year and January 23 this year.

He is also accused of supplying cocaine and heroin in Grimsby between August 1 last year and February 7 this year as well as possessing a stun gun as an offensive weapon on June 25 last year.

Anthony McCosh, charged with modern slavery Credit: PA

Prosecutor Kate Fairburn told Grimsby Magistrates' Court that it was claimed that the drugs offences were linked to modern slavery.

McCosh was said to have forced the two alleged victims, one a 17-year-old boy, into dealing drugs in Grimsby.

Police carried out a search and one of the alleged slavery victims was found at the premises along with drugs and money.

The rest of the investigation unfolded from that, it was claimed.

The stun gun was found at a hotel when McCosh was arrested.

The cases were sent to Grimsby Crown Court for a hearing on October 14.

Defence solicitor Sunny Dhinsa asked for McCosh to be allowed bail but District Judge Daniel Curtis refused this. McCosh was further remanded in custody.

Humberside Police said McCosh was arrested earlier this week as part of a force wide operation in Grimsby and Lincolnshire, supported by the National Crime Agency.

“Anthony McCosh was arrested earlier this week as part of a Humberside Police-led operation.

“Following the court hearing at Grimsby Magistrates Court, McCosh was remanded into custody and the case has now been committed to crown court.”

– Humberside Police spokesman