Chesterfield woman handed suspended sentence after being first person in Derbyshire to breach modern slavery order
A Chesterfield woman is the first person in Derbyshire policing history to be sentenced for breaching a modern slavery order.
Rasa Zubaviciute was handed a suspended prison sentence for failing to abide by the conditions of a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) which she was placed under on July 30 last year at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.
The 47-year-old of Chatsworth Road received the modern slavery order after officers found a hidden room at a hand car wash in Chesterfield.
Police from the Modern Slavery Team visited the business in Brimington Road, Tapton and discovered, through a hole in a wall that was hidden by a sofa, that there were mattresses and airbeds along with food and suitcases.
Zubaviciute was given the STRO which set out a number of conditions, including being forbidden from arranging accommodation for anyone other than immediate family and possessing passports, bank cards or documents of any other person.
The order also prevented the 47-year-old from employing an individual for work without notifying Derbyshire police and ensuring they are paid the national minimum wage.
Zubaviciute was charged on January 12, 2021 with allegedly breaching the terms of the STRO after a passing officer witnessed more workers at the business than she had told the force were working there.
She admitted breaching the modern slavery order when she appeared at North East Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on Monday, April 12 where she was awarded 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
The 47-year-old must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £213, while the original STRO remains in place until 2025.
DC Dannielle Jewitt said: “As a force we take the kinds of offences perpetrated by the likes of Rasa Zubaviciute extremely seriously.
“This case shows the close work between specialist officers and our local safer neighbourhood teams, who really are the eyes and ears of the force.
“I hope this case acts as a lesson to anyone else who is thinking of, or indeed is already, acting in the same way as Zubaviciute. As a force we are alive to the dangers and will work to bring you to justice and protect vulnerable victims.”