Breaking Chesterfield Derbyshire

A 47-year-old woman has been handed a suspended sentence after breaching a modern slavery order – the first time anyone has been sentenced for such a crime in Derbyshire

Rasa Zubaviciute was handed a Slavery and Trafficking Risk Order (STRO) on Thursday, 30 July 2020 at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court after officers found a hidden room at a hand car wash in Chesterfield.

Officers from Derbyshire police’s Modern Slavery Team visited the business in Brimington Road, Tapton, and discovered, through a hole in a wall that was hidden by a sofa, mattresses and airbeds – along with food and suitcases.

As a result of the finds, Zubaviciute, of Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, was given the STRO which set out a number of conditions, including being forbidden from:

Arranging accommodation for anyone other than immediate family,
Possessing passports, bank cards or documents of any other person,
Employing an individual for work without notifying Derbyshire police and ensuring they are paid the national minimum wage.
Zubaviciute was charged on 12 January 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 appeared at North East Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court where she admitted the breach and, on Monday 12 April, she was given 24 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. She must also complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £213.

The original STRO also remains in place until 2025.

DC Dannielle Jewitt, who led the investigation, 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.”

Derbyshire police is part of a countywide Modern Slavery Partnership which, together with local authorities and other key agencies, works to tackle slavery and effectively manage STROs.