Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
One Mother's Harrowing Tale Of Her Son's Involvement In A County Lines Drugs Gang
5 July 2019, 11:29 | Updated: 5 July 2019, 11:51
“He said, ‘Mum, if you come any closer I’ll stab you.’” Sarah’s son Sam was groomed by a gang to be a drugs-mule, she told LBC it damaged him so much - he ended up stabbing her partner.
In January, the National Crime Agency warned that criminal gangs were exploiting thousands of children as young as 11 to run the lucrative drug networks, raking in hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
But now –the Children’s Society Charity’s new research has suggested younger children than previously thought are being drawn in, with gangs targeting primary school pupils.
They even spoke to one council worker who said they were working with a seven-year-old victim who had been exploited by a gang.
LBC spoke to one mother whose son was groomed by a gang when he was a teenager at school, which let to him stabbing her partner.
Sarah said it was a Saturday when she was at home and her son had shown up unexpectedly.
Breaking down in tears she said her son picked up a knife in the kitchen and said: "If I come any closer then he's going to stab me."
Describing the harrowing incident Sarah said her son "just lashed out" slicing the top of her partner's arm.
Sarah said she didn't know how, but her partner managed to wrestle her son to the floor.
Emotionally the mother said her son was carrying a knife, he had previously told her that he had to carry one to protect himself.
"He says he has to protect himself, he's got no choice," she told LBC.
Explaining how young people are groomed by gangs, she said young people get into a situation where "everything is a threat to them."
LBC's reporter Rachael Venables asked Sarah what she would say to people who use drugs after they have been moved around the country by young people who may have been groomed.
Sarah said that drugs have a huge impact on communities and families. "When they take a drug, there's so many people living in fear," she said she wished drug users could go into a prison and "see what it's like."
She movingly told LBC that her family had been "broken" by what had happened. "I don't know if there's going to be an opportunity for life to be OK for my son," she said.
Watch the whole video at the top of the page.