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News of raids, prosecutions, robberies, assaults etc from the world of punting

 


Man who murdered escort claimed £50,000 of taxpayer’s cash for legal fees

Published in The Press & Journal
19th April 2017


Aberdeen
More than £50,000 of taxpayer’s cash has been awarded to a murderer to help pay his legal fees. Bala Chinda was found guilty in January of raping and murdering escort Jessica McGraa in an Aberdeen flat. The 26-year-old Robert Gordon University student was unanimously found guilty after seven hours of deliberation by a jury. He was also convicted of rape by a majority verdict.

The Nigerian national had been in Aberdeen for just a few weeks when he killed Mrs McGraa.

Now new figures have revealed £50,260 has been paid by the Scottish Legal Aid Board for the 26-year-old’s legal expenses. Chinda was jailed for life, with a minimum of 18 years behind bars.

North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald said: “It’s an important point that justice is available to all, that applies in this case as in every other. The public are bound to be concerned that the basis in which legal aid is given is a reasonable one. What this case highlights is the fact that legal aid can be available to everybody, no matter their background or circumstances.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Legal Aid Board said: “To ensure the justice system works properly, legal fees can be paid by legal aid in criminal proceedings if someone meets strict eligibility criteria set by the Scottish parliament. While certain high profile cases attract attention, legal aid helps large numbers of often vulnerable people get access to justice.”
 

Man arrested in Gateshead as police raids target suspected Romanian prostitution gang

Published by The Chronicle Live
19th April 2017


Tyne & Wear
A suspected human trafficker was seized by police in Gateshead in an early morning raid today. The raid was one of a series which took place across the country in an effort to crack down on a Romanian crime gang, thought to be smuggling women into the country for the purposes of prostitution.

A 29-year-old man was arrested in Watt Street, Bensham, Gateshead on suspicion of conspiring to traffick for sexual exploitation and conspiring to incite prostitution, as part of an operation by Lancashire Police, working with Northumbria Police officers.

Across the country a further seven arrests were made, with six men and one woman taken from addresses in Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool, in Lancashire, as well as Evesham, near Worcester. All seven are currently in custody, on suspicion of the same charge.

Eight women, who are suspected of being trafficked from Romania to be used as prostitutes, were discovered during the raids. Lancashire Police force says the women’s “safeguarding and welfare issues” are being addressed.

Officers say the arrests come as part of a long-running investigation by Lancashire Police’s human trafficking and modern slavery team, Op Proteus, into a Romanian organised crime group.

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A police scheme has helped prostitutes off the streets of Cardiff

Published by Wales Online
19th April 2017


Cardiff
A South Wales Police scheme to help prostitutes off the streets without sending them through the criminal justice system has been hailed as a success. Operation Gray Neptune saw the police focus on sex workers in Grangetown, Cardiff Bay and Splott - areas where they had received complaints from residents.

Launched in January the scheme, which has come to an end, saw 13 women offered additional support to make sure they were accessing the services that could help them get off the street. The scheme tried to break the cycle of prostitution, which often has its origins in abuse, family breakdown and chemical dependency, by offering access to drug intervention, health and housing services.

On six nights during the eight week period, officers walked the streets trying to support the women they find back onto the straight and narrow.

The officers also enforced the law - dealing with three individuals who tried to solicit sex. Between April 2016 and March 2017, police received 131 complaints about prostitution from people living in Pentre Gardens, East Tyndall Street and Ocean Way.

Nici Evans, Partnership Development Manager for Cardiff Partnership Board, has said the scheme is designed to help women overcome the difficulties that may have seen them start work as a prostitute.

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