WHO DIALS 999 in a BROTHEL? (2)
EVIDENCE condemning the UK’s antiquated brothel laws continued to mount up this week as a man faced trial for the slaying of a brothel keeper.
As ‘crossbow cannibal’ Stephen Griffiths awaits his November trial for the murder of three Bradford survival street sex workers, another man is undergoing his for a brothel killing in the same city.
The 42-year-old male Taiwanese victim, Tinakorn Tuekpia, and his girlfriend ran the brothel from their home in Little Horton Lane, which was raided by a gang of robbers last August.
Remarkably, in a desperate bid to trace the perpetrators, police urged local brothel owners
who may have been robbed recently to risk draconian penalties and get in touch.
Bradford Crown Court has been told the gang believed there was £25,000 hidden beneath the floorboards of the house. In the course of the break-in, Tuekpia suffered a stab wound with a kitchen knife to his heart and was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Two men and a 17-year-old youth have admitted manslaughter and conspiracy to rob. A third man, Syed Bukhari (28), said to be the actual killer, denies murder and the conspiracy charge and claims he was elsewhere.
Only two months ago, a court heard how four burglars broke into a brothel in Hounslow, London, and raped two women at knifepoint, stealing £110 and their mobile phones.
The court heard they targeted the brothel because they thought prostitutes were less likely to report a break-in to police.
In 2003, the maximum sentence for running a brothel was increased 14-fold, from six months to seven years in prison. On top of that, managers now face proceeds of crime proceedings to remove their assets and premises can be closed for three months.
Brothels in England and Wales suffer much the same problems as US ‘speakeasies‘ of the 1920s. Managers fear the law and the scene is set for the growth of blackmail, protection rackets, violence and police corruption.
Nor is it just sex workers and managers who are in the frame for exploitation. Last spring, the media carried a story in which sex worker Joanne Metcalfe (30) and accomplice Alexander Millar (17) attacked a punter with a knife and a heavy telescopic baton to distract him while his cash and phone were stolen from his clothing.
Fortunately the burly 26-year-old punter – a soldier just returned from basic training – was more than a match for the pair. But Joanne Metcalfe later stupidly phoned the police claiming a madman had broken in and attacked her friend.
She later tried the same trick with a new accomplice on a 68-year-old man, stealing £180 and his wallet, and was jailed for three years at Teeside Crown Court.I’m told this sort of event is happening throughout the UK all the time, but rarely makes either the courts or media.
If the Julie Bindels and Cath Elliotts of this world get their way, and all clients are criminalised, sightings of stories like this will be even rarer.
Less than a fifth of attacks on sex workers in brothels were reported to police before the brothel penalties were escalated.
(See also Who dials 999 in a brothel?)