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Sol Bamba burglar was victim of ‘modern slavery’, escapes jail

A teenage burglar whose gang ransacked a Cardiff City footballer’s home has walked free from court because he was a victim of ‘modern slavery’ during the raid.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, stole jewellery, designer handbags and a £62,000 Range Rover from Sol Bamba’s house in the heist with three friends.

The 35-year-old centre-back was playing in France and his wife Chloe was away with their three children – aged five to 12 – when the raid took place in the Welsh capital.

The gang was spotted on CCTV smashing a rear patio door before driving off in Bamba’s Range Rover on July 27 last year.

But the court heard the teenager was later found to have been a victim of modern slavery when the crime took place and bullied into taking part in the raid.

The judge spared him prison, saying was a ‘reluctant participant’ in the burglary after being forced into it by an older man.

Prosecutor Nik Strobl said: ‘At around 1pm on July 27, the Bamba family left their house leaving Mr Bamba’s Range Rover parked outside of the doors.’

The court heard a black Honda Civic was spotted on CCTV driven by accomplice Kyle Harris, 25, with the teenager inside and a third man.

Mr Strobl said: ‘This black Honda was captured on the CCTV driving past the property several times.’

Cardiff Crown Court heard the boy was then seen smashing glass to get into the home.

Mr Strobl continued: ‘Inside the property an untidy search was conducted throughout the whole house.’

A Louis Vuitton bag, a Cartier watch, a Chanel bag and the Range Rover were among the luxury items stolen.

The court previously heard wife Chloe was ‘devastated at the intrusion into her home.’

Cardiff City were playing a pre-season friendly against OGC Nice on the day of the burglary.

The teenager pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court to burgling Mr Bamba’s house, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Accomplice Harris, 25, of Rumney, Cardiff, was earlier jailed for two years after admitting his part in the burglary.

The teenager was 17 at the time of the offence and carried it out with a ‘much older man.’

Judge Richard Twomlow said the ‘very relevant factors’ of his age and modern slavery were taken into account.

He said: ‘You appear to have been a reluctant participant in the burglary with a much older man.’

The teenager was handed an 18-month community order, 180 hours unpaid work and 25 days rehabilitation activity.

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