October 23 2014 Latest news:
Friday, May 23, 2014
A man and woman who offered prostitutes through an Ipswich-based escort agency have walked free from court after a judge decided not to send them straight to prison.
Pimp Stuart Mansfield, of Nelson Road, Ipswich, ran Anglian Escorts.com from his home address while Carla Panton, 29, of Heath Road, Wenhaston, near Halesworth was a manager, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Sentencing the pair to suspended prison sentences Judge John Holt described the business as “well established, well organised and reasonably profitable.”
“You saw a gap in the market and exploited it,” said the judge.
He said sex workers were recruited by on-line and newspaper adverts and had gone to work for the business of their own free will. He said they had been treated well and were provided with drivers who made sure they were physically safe. “They were all experienced prostitutes and one was doing it for her thesis.” said the judge.
He said neither of the defendants had any previous convictions.
Mansfield, 36, and Panton admitted controlling prostitution for gain. Mansfield was given a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work in the community and Panton was given a six month prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work in the community.
A proceeds of crime hearing will take place later in the year.
Robert Sadd, prosecuting, said the business was set up in December 2008 and operated for four years.
He said that if a customer paid £130 for sexual services £60 would go to the woman and the rest would go to the driver and management.
Allan Compton for Mansfield said his client had inititally worked as a driver for prostitutes and had thought he could “do it better and fairer.”
He said the women had been well looked after and most of them had been experienced prostitutes.
Michael Stradling for Panton said she had moved from being a sex worker to a management role and was a paid employee, He said she had joined the business as an escort in May 2010 and was employed as a manager from June or July that year.