The Oldest Profession




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


Northampton former 'personal trainer' lived double life as violent 'pimp', trial hears

Published in The Northampton Chronicle
19th September 2017

A "charming" former personal trainer in Northampton was a "Jekyll and Hyde" character who secretly urged women into prostitution, sexually abused them and threatened to post videos of them online if they resisted his demands, a trial has heard.

Winston Reid is alleged to have used various methods to exercise control over his victims. The 55-year-old, described as a "pimp" in court, is accused of sexually assaulting one of his victims using a baseball bat.

Reid, who had no fixed abode at the time of his remand, was arrested in 2015 following an appeal on BBC One's Crimewatch after a number of sexual assault allegations were made against him. At the time the show claimed Reid was working as a fitness instructor.

He later pleaded not guilty to six counts of rape, two counts of indecent assault, eight counts of causing actual bodily harm and one count of blackmail, most of which was allegedly carried out while he lived in Northampton area. Yesterday, he appeared at Northampton Crown Court to face the first day of his trial.

Outlining the case against him, prosecutor Jonathon Dee said: "This case involves a large number of sexual and violent allegations against Mr Reid. "As you will see, Mr Reid was somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde character. He is a very intelligent and charming man. He is also cold, manipulative and somewhat ruthless."


Councillor faces Merthyr Tydfil brothel investigation

Published by The BBC
19th September 2017

A councillor found in a brothel during a police raid now faces an investigation by watchdogs. Brent Carter, 45, was discovered in the terraced house in a residential area of Merthyr Tydfil in May 2015. The details emerged during a case at the town's crown court where brothel keeper Leon Hall was given a 10 month suspended prison sentence.

The matter has been referred to the public services ombudsman and Mr Carter declined to comment.

The brothel had been operating in the town for a year, leading to complaints from residents. When the property was searched in 2015, Merthyr Tydfil council's head of public protection and planning said: "The evidence from South Wales Police clearly showed that residents in the area had been experiencing nuisance at all times of the day and night including the early hours of the morning and that it was causing significant distress."

The man running the operation, 36-year-old Hall, from Neath, pleaded guilty to one count of keeping a brothel used for prostitution.

Mr Carter, 45, did not face any criminal proceedings in the case. The Labour councillor has represented the Plymouth ward of the town since 2008.

After the hearing, Merthyr council leader Kevin O'Neill said a complaint was being lodged. "In the interest of openness and transparency and to protect the reputation of the council, it is my duty as the leader to forward this case for an independent assessment to the Public Services Ombudsman," he said.

Vice squad detective 'blackmailed married man he saw leaving brothel'

Published in The Daily Telegraph
19th September 2017

A detective blackmailed a punter he saw leaving a brothel, a court has heard. When the victim reported the ransom demand to the police his blackmailer, DC Gareth Suffling, was one of the officers put on the case. Suffling, 35, was jailed for 18 months for demanding £1,000 from the married man, who he had photographed coming out of a prostitute's mobile home.

He was caught after his colleagues from Bedfordshire Police's Serious Organised Crime Unit noticed he was acting nervously while working on the case, looking at his mobile phone and drinking water excessively.

Prosecutor Angus Robertson told St Albans Crown Court it was discovered that Suffling had earlier made a Police National Computer inquiry into the victim's car registration number to obtain the victim's address. "Suspicion fell on the defendant as dangerous driving inquiries would not normally be carried out by his unit," he said.

The court heard Suffling had visited the AdultWork website and contacted the prostitute to find out that she was working from a motor home parked near an industrial estate in Sedgewick Road, Luton on 16 March this year.

The victim, who cannot be named for legal reasons and was referred to as Mr A, visited the prostitute for 15 minutes that day. He was photographed by Suffling, who then used the Police National Computer to find the man's details. Eight days later, on March 24, Suffling placed a package on his windscreen, containing the photographs and a letter.

Mr Robertson said he had written: "You made an error of judgement. A massive error of judgement. The next step is for you to decide. You used the services of a prostitute in Sedgewick Road, Luton. Do you really want the people closest to you to know about this? You put your perversion above your family."