The Oldest Profession




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


'Lonely' pensioner kept 'gagged and bound' in escort's cellar only escaped when 'neighbour heard him screaming'

Published in The Liverpool Echo
19th April 2017

A ‘lonely’ pensioner ambushed by masked men at an escort’s home staged a remarkable escape from a “stinking” cellar where he was imprisoned. The elderly man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was gagged, blindfolded and had his hands and feet bound during a terrifying knife-point robbery, a jury at Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Escort Susan Garside, 53, and her ex-boyfriend Anthony Miller, accept the man was attacked at her home but deny any involvement, and have pleaded not guilty to robbery and false imprisonment.

The jury heard the man began a friendship with Garside after staff looking after his wife, who has dementia, encouraged him to have a “life outside the nursing home” and seek female company. The pair met on sex work website, where Garside advertised under the name ‘Summer Blackvelvet’.

He told a jury: “I had to have a life, believe me the loneliness was terrifying.” But he later became aware that Garside had an allegedly violent on-and-off ex boyfriend, 49-year-old Miller, who he claims demanded he stay away from her or “be sorry.”

Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the jury the victim ignored the threats, which Miller denies, and had arranged to meet Garside at her house in Roxburgh Street, Walton, on November 4 last year.

He asked the victim, who gave evidence from behind a screen, to explain what happened. The pensioner said: “She told me about a new pet that she had, I went to look at it in the front room. It was a budgie I think.... She stepped back into the hallway and three masked men appeared, and frightened me to death obviously. I was wrestled to the ground and there were three masked faces right in front of me.”


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

Published in The Press & Journal
19th April 2017

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.