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When the law makes things worse…

by on September 28, 2009

This is a story, the first of three I’m planning, on victims in the UK sex industry.

A little like Amanda Walker, these are victims, not of traffickers, but of Her Majesty’s Home Office and its bizarre laws. And I believe each to be a lesson in failure by the criminal justice system.Lynch and Dasic

Unlike Amanda, however, the victims in these cases worked not as street prostitutes, but at various levels of management in the sex industry – people many would call ‘pimps’.

The variations in their income for this task were extraordinary. They range from the pocket money required for a single haircut for many weeks’ work at one extreme, to – reportedly – millions of pounds at the other.

The penalties they suffered at the hands of the law varied too – from eight months’ prison at one extreme to a community service order and a fine. And, as this is Bizarre Britain, it was, of course, the one who only earned the haircut money who wound up behind bars.

Lesson One: the law should leave well alone

First up are Michelle Dasic and Franklin Lynch, former manager and owner, respectively, of the Executive Sauna in Whitchurch Road, Cardiff. They are pictured above outside the court.

It is not clear why the police investigated the Executive Sauna. However, it was raided and Lynch (50) was charged with two offences of living off the earnings of prostitution, while Dasic (27), faced controlling prostitutes for gain charges.

The case is unusual because the judge, John Durham Hall, actually praised the exemplary way in which the brothel had been run.

And it had been. The court heard that the 10-15 sex workers were given clean towels and condoms. A local authority nurse provided regular check-ups, while there were strict rules against the use of drugs and alcohol.

The judge told Lynch:

You ran efficiently and discreetly a fully functioning and successful brothel near the city centre of Cardiff.

You had regard for the safety, health and hygiene of your staff and premises. There was nothing naive, second-rate or particularly sordid about your business.

Lynch and Dasic both admitted the offences. Lynch was fined £5,000 and given a four month suspended gaol term, while Dasic was fined £2,000 and ordered to do two years community rehabilitation (she later returned to life as a sex worker).

The strange thing was that, while it was clear in court that Lynch owned the business and Dasic managed it, no charges of owning or managing a brothel were brought.

This was all back in November, 2004, after which Lynch and Dasic naturally parted company with the premises. It continued life as a brothel under new management, but sadly the new owners were clearly nothing like as discriminating as the old.First Choice Leisure

A year after the Lynch and Dasic case almost to the day, the venue featured at the same Cardiff Crown Court, but this time in a notorious trafficking case, in which a 20-year-old Lithuanian woman was forced to have sex with up to nine men a day and hand over all her income to Albanian traffickers who beat her and threatened her life.

The premises occupied by the Executive Sauna, pictured here, are now used by First Choice Leisure.

So the prosecution of Lynch and Dasic achieved what, exactly?

Coming next: the brothel madam now exiled through helping police over trafficking.

© Stephen Paterson and An Anthology of English Pros, 2008-2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Stephen Paterson and An Anthology of English Pros with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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