Former vice cop guilty of kerb crawling

FORMER vice squad detective Mark Daniel has been found guilty of kerb crawling in Ipswich's red light district.Magistrates rejected his claim that he had been scouring the area for a burger van and not sex.

A FORMER vice squad detective has been found guilty of kerb crawling in Ipswich's red light district.

Mark Daniel was caught kerb crawling in Ipswich just six months after five prostitutes were abducted and killed.

Daniel, 34, of Grimwade Close, Brantham denied a charge of soliciting a woman for the purposes of sex.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard how Daniel had travelled from London where he works as a policeman to Ipswich on June 10 when he picked up prostitute Donna Drewry from Dalton Road.

Giving evidence Miss Drewry said Daniel, of previous good character, had asked how much she charged for sex and oral sex before taking her to the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate.

Miss Drewry told the court: “He wound his window down and asked for personal stuff.

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“He said jump into the car and asked if I knew a discreet place. I could tell he wanted to get away quickly.”

She said Daniel handed over £20 and as she began to engage in oral sex with the defendant she heard the screeching of police cars.

Miss Drewry, who has 19 convictions for various offences, said that Daniel had told her “That's my career over” before beginning to weep.

She added: “I heard him crying while they read him his rights.”

Ian Pells, prosecuting, said Daniel had told officers at the scene: “Please don't arrest me. Can I have a street caution? I will lose my job.”

When challenged by defence counsel Tom Nicholson that she had made up the claims Miss Drewry said: “I would not have come here today if this wasn't important.”

Daniel described the incident to police as “a moment of silliness”.

Giving magistrates his version of events Daniel said he had finished his shift in London on June 9 and was nearly home when he noticed the car was low on petrol.

After travelling into Ipswich to fill up the car's tank Daniel said he became hungry and began to search for a burger bar. He also claimed he was looking for a new home for his family in Ipswich's red light district.

The father to two, a detective sergeant with the Metropolitan Police based in Hackney, claimed he received a call from his wife Sharon and pulled over to speak to her.

As he did so he said Miss Drewry opened the passenger door and asked him if he was looking for business.

Daniel told the court, “I said no, I'm actually looking for a burger.”

He claims she offered to take him to a burger van which he agreed to and she directed him to the Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate.

When they arrived Miss Drewry offered him sex which he said he refused, causing her to become volatile.

Police then arrived and arrested Daniel before taking him to Ipswich police station for questioning.

After considering the evidence for nearly two hours Ipswich magistrates returned a guilty verdict, with chairwoman Bunty Hunt sentencing Daniel to pay a £235 fine and £455 costs.

She rejecting Daniel's story, saying: “We believe it's unbelievable that such an experienced police officer would go to such a notorious prostitution area in the early hours of the morning and seek the assistance of a woman he knew to be a prostitute in finding a burger van.”

A county wide crack down on kerb crawling, called Operation Impression, was launched earlier this year following the killings of Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Annette Nicholls and Paula Clennell last December.