First kerb crawler to be sentenced

IPSWICH kerb crawler Martin Daniels is today the first person to be sentenced under Suffolk Police's new zero tolerance campaign to wipe out prostitution.

IPSWICH kerb crawler Martin Daniels is today the first person to be sentenced under Suffolk Police's new zero tolerance campaign to wipe out prostitution.

The police crackdown launched in March is a key part of the five-year Ipswich Street Prostitution Strategy, which aims to provide increased support to sex workers and drug addicts to prevent them from working as prostitutes to feed their habits, following the killings of sex workers Annette Nicholls, 29, Paula Clennell, 24, Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, and Anneli Alderton, 24.

The bodies of the women were all found around Ipswich in December last year.

Daniels, of Anita Close East, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday to soliciting women for prostitution and was slapped with a hefty fine.

The Evening Star has pledged to name and shame all those people who appear in court as a result of soliciting women for prostitution.

The court heard how Daniels was observed stopping his BMW and speaking to a woman in Handford Road at around 9.20pm on March 13 this year. After a brief conversation, she got in the car and they drove off. They stopped at the Hadleigh Industrial Estate where officers swooped in and arrested Daniels. The woman admitted soliciting and was cautioned.

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In a previous hearing on April 24, Naomi Turner for the Crown Prosecution Service said according to Daniels' interview with police, he had no intention of picking her up for prostitution.

She added: “He wanted to talk to her but he was aware she was a prostitute and that she would think sex was on the cards.”

Daniels, defending himself, told the court at the time: “I can't deny I picked the girl up. I was a friend of one of the five girls who were murdered.

“I knew that this girl knew her as well. I had to give her money to get her in the car. In the last few months I have not been in a good state of mind.”

As there were issues over his plea, the case was adjourned until this week, when he pleaded guilty and just stated: “I think it is best if I don't say anything more.”

District Judge David Cooper gave him a £350 fine and ordered him to pay £75 in prosecution costs.

n. Do you think the fine is a big enough deterrent? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email

DISTRICT Commander for Ipswich Chief Inspector Bruce Robinson said: “This is a welcome result. Targeting kerb crawlers forms just one element of the prostitution strategy. The other aspects of the strategy, such as community engagement and encouraging the girls to exit this lifestyle, are longer term measures. Hopefully the result will act as a deterrent to others. Statistically we do have a low re-offending rate.”

Hannah Jo Besley, community safety officer and chair of Ipswich Prostitutes Steering Group said: “One of the key focuses about the strategy is tackling demand and it is fair to say everyone knew what actions we were going to take. People will get found out and there will be consequences. This sends out a message that we won't accept this sort of behaviour in Ipswich.”

As of May 8 there were 28 arrests in the kerb crawling blitz since it began in March.

However English Collective of Prostitutes was not happy with the result.

Its spokesman, Cari Mitchell, said: “Police crackdowns on clients like this forces women further underground into more isolated, less well lit areas and at risk of further violence. Public opinion shows time and time again that it is women's safety that should be the priority.”