Two teenagers who were sent to Dundee to sell crack cocaine and took over a woman’s flat in a “cuckooing” operation have been jailed.
Jaydon Hall, 18, and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named, were ordered by English gangsters to sell drugs in the city.
The pair admitted abducting Nicola Walker and Andrew Cusick before attacking them after £1,000 of their ill-gotten gains had went missing.
Prior to jailing the duo, who have multiple previous convictions, a sheriff slammed the “misery” and “evil” brought about by county lines dealers.
Sheriff Tom Hughes, however, accepted evidence from their solicitors that the duo were the victims of what equates to modern-day slavery.
He said: “This involved you coming to Dundee and taking over the home of one of the local residents.
“From there, you were actively dealing in the sale of illegal drugs, which in itself brings misery, debt, health problems and, at times, violence to our streets in Dundee.
“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.”
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.
The court previously heard that the duo arrived in Dundee at the start of April and immediately moved into Ms Walker’s Baxter Street home.
They both admitted that between April 1 and 26 they were concerned in the supply of cocaine at addresses on 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 addicts.
On April 23, Ms Walker admitted taking £1,000 from a stash hidden in the bathroom. Prosecutor Gavin Burton told how she and Mr Cusick, who was visiting, were then attacked by the pair.
Mr Cusick was stabbed in the forearm which resulted in the blade protruding out of the other side.
“The 17-year-old accused had a kitchen knife and struck Mr Cusick on the arm which started bleeding heavily,” Mr Burton said.
“Jaydon Hall repeatedly punched and slapped Ms Walker to the face and her face was bleeding badly.
“She ran off to a friend’s house and Mr Cusick ran back to his room at homeless accommodation after his arm was bandaged by the 17-year-old accused.”
Hall admitted abducting Ms Walker on April 23, preventing her from leaving, and repeatedly punching and striking her on the head to her severe injury.
The 17-year-old admitted abducting Mr Cusick before attacking him with a knife and causing severe injury and impairment on the same date.
Sheriff Hughes sentenced the pair to 24 months in custody each and also imposed a supervised release order for one year.
He added: “It is sad to say that you appear to be victims of these evil criminals. They are using you.
“I take into account that you have been assessed as being victims of modern slavery yourselves. What is clear is that you made a positive decision to become involved in this illegal practice.”