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

 


Hillfields pimp trial: Jury retires to consider verdicts

Published in The Coventry Telegraph
21st February 2017


Yorkshire
The jury in the Hillfields pimp trial, where two men are accused of forcing a 17-year-old girl to work on the streets, has retired to consider its verdicts. Thomas Entwistle and Martin Cantle both deny threatening the teenager with violence if she refused to work as a prostitute in Coventry’s red light district.

Entwistle, 26, formerly of Warwick, but now of Dog Lane, Napton, and Cantle, 24, of Aldbourne Road, Radford, both deny two charges of causing or inciting child prostitution, controlling a child prostitute, arranging or facilitating child prostitution, and supplying the girl with cocaine.

A jury at Warwick Crown Court heard over two weeks’ worth of evidence and then closing speeches from the prosecution and barristers for both defendants. The judge has finished summing up the case and the 12 members of the jury have left the courtroom to decide upon their verdicts.

During the evidence, the court heard that Entwistle and Cantle forced the 17-year-old girl to sell her services as a sex worker on the streets of Hillfields in 2014. They took nearly every single penny she earned from her and even kept her held captive in a flat in Wyken - putting a duvet cover over her head as she struggled to breathe - prosecutor Robert Underwood said.

The jury also heard from the youngster’s foster carer at the time who said the teen grabbed a knife and threatened to kill herself after coming face-to-face with her alleged pimps at her foster home.

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Romanian vice ring smashed as cops snare trafficking suspect during flat raids

Published in The Daily Record
20th February 2017


Scotland
An organised crime gang raked in £500,000 in one year selling trafficked Romanian women as sex slaves in Scotland. The victims were lured from poverty blackspots in Romania and hired out as prostitutes. But a series of raids on flats in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow – where 10 women were held – smashed the racket last year. And the Romanian gangsters behind the women’s exploitation are facing jail in their home country for their part in it.

One of those arrested was Razvan Nedelea, 35, who is charged with organised crime and prostitution offences. He and nine others face up to seven years in a Romanian prison.

The gang came to Scotland in 2015 and exploited their victims in three properties in Dennistoun. The crime bosses sold the women through escort agencies and dictated every detail down to the number of punters, how much they were charged and where and when they would
 be seen.

A police spokesman in Romania said: “The men were part of an 
organised group which had several members, all Romanian nationals. They were trafficking women from Romania to Scotland with the purpose of sexual exploitation. The women worked as prostitutes in Scotland, mainly in flats rented by the criminal group members, who controlled them and collected the money they made.” The women were brought to Glasgow from poverty-stricken Prahova county, in central Romania.

Nedelea comes from Ploiesti the capital of Prahova county, which has been the focus of a major crackdown on organised crime and sex trafficking in the last year.

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Prostitution in Hillfields is "no surprise" but still "unacceptable" say city cops

Published in The Coventry Telegraph
20th February 2017


West Midlands
Police say that while prostitution in the Hillfields area of Coventry will come as “no surprise” to residents, it is still “unacceptable”.

It was revealed last week that the city has one of the highest rates of persistent street prostitution recorded in the country. Government figures show Coventry had a rate of soliciting for prostitution in the 12 months up to and including September 2016 that was nearly five times higher than the national average.

And now officers working in Hillfields - known for its red light district - have had their say on their issue. Inspector Ed Peake, who covers St Michael’s ward, said they are focusing on getting people out of prostitution and targeting kerb crawlers, rather than just prosecuting sex workers.

Insp Peake said: “Prostitution has been a factor within the Hillfields area of Coventry for a number of years; this will come as no surprise to many of the residents however this doesn’t make it acceptable. Over time we have tried a number of different tactics to tackle the problem including focusing on kerb crawlers, law enforcement around offenders, safeguarding and prosecution. Our emphasis is on supporting people out of prostitution and tackling kerb crawling, rather than simply prosecuting people for soliciting, in an effort to reduce reoffending.

“We now offer a STOP Programme to kerb crawlers, which is an educational rehabilitation course. The course originated in North America where the re-offending rates vary but are reported to be as low as two per cent. Every kerb crawler caught who is eligible, is referred for this course.

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