The Oldest Profession




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


Dispossessed Fund: I was suicidal when I came here, says sex worker who leapt from abortion clinic window to flee trafficker

Published in The Evening Standard
1st August 2014

As another £1 million is handed out in the latest round of Dispossessed Fund grants, Campaigns Editor David Cohen visits an inspirational project which is using therapy to transform the lives of street-based prostitutes and trafficked women

Psychotherapist Pippa Hockton became aware of the predicament of London’s street prostitutes when a man, referred to her for counselling at the Royal Free in Hampstead, confessed to his favourite vice. “He told me that he liked to go out and knife street prostitutes,” she recalled. “He said that he had never killed anybody but that he got a big kick out of hurting and scaring them almost to death.”

Ms Hockton, 54, the grand-daughter of an Oxford don, never knew for certain whether the sick client was telling her the truth or concocting a lurid fantasy, but that was the trigger moment that put her life on a new track.

She decided to investigate whether there was any specialist mental health provision for street-working prostitutes and discovered that the prevailing wisdom was that their lifestyle was too chaotic to work with.

So she volunteered at Maze Marigold, a drop-in centre in Dalston offering hot food and clean clothing for street-based sex workers — and found that the women had the same capacity to engage therapeutically as anybody else.


Teen forced to work as prostitute after 'witch doctor cast black magic spell'

Published in The Daily Star
30th July 2014

A TEENAGER was forced to sell her body as a prostitute after a witch doctor cast a spell on her, a court heard. The 18-year-old Nigerian girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was told to complete a juju ritual ceremony before being trafficked to the UK.

A man, only known as Jon, told her she would then be able to live in the UK but would be forced to comply with his instructions – or she would be cursed for ever.

Catherine Rabaiotti, prosecuting, told the court: "She was effectively homeless, an outcast from her family, living on the streets. She was befriended by a man she knew as Jon and Jon told her that he had a family in the UK, offering her a way out of her poverty and homelessness in Nigeria."

Ms Rabaiotti explained that "Jon" organised travel documents for the woman and arranged the ritual to so that she would abide by everything he said. She said: "It was a Ju-ju ritual. They import on the person a belief that if they break the promise that they will be seriously cursed and there will be very serious consequences on them. She swore the oath and went through the ceremony."

The Old Bailey heard how on her first day in Britain, the teen was driven to a road near Paddington Station in west London and locked away to wait for sex clients.


Cycling rapist jailed for Bradford red light district knife-point attack

Published in The Telegraph & Argus
29th July 2014

A CONVICTED rapist, who attacked another woman at knifepoint after cycling around Bradford's red light district, has been jailed for 11 years.  Judge Rodney Jameson QC told 30-year-old Jason Oates he posed a danger to women in general and he could serve as long as 15 years behind bars if he did not work to reduce the danger while in custody.

Judge Jameson said the attack had a profound effect on the victim and giving evidence at his trial had been a significant emotional ordeal for her.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday that Oates, of Lapage Street, Bradford Moor, Bradford, had cycled around red light areas on a bike and had been stopped by police on a number of occasions as he looked for prostitutes.

The rape took place in the early hours of the morning on September 26, 2011, in City Road, near its junction with Menstone Street, Bradford. Oates had cycled up to two miles across the city centre to the red light district.

Oates approached the woman, who had only been working as a prostitute for about three weeks, and agreed to pay £20 for sex.  But Oates produced a large-bladed hunting knife with a serrated edge from a rucksack and demanded that she submitted to sex without charge.