Frail kerbcrawler loved vice girl
THIS is the cowering figure of the third kerb crawler to be sentenced under Suffolk police's new zero tolerance campaign to wipe out prostitution.Roy Lawrence, from Castle Hedingham, Essex, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to soliciting women for prostitution on May 10 this year.
THIS is the cowering figure of the third kerb crawler to be sentenced under Suffolk police's new zero tolerance campaign to wipe out prostitution.
Roy Lawrence, from Castle Hedingham, Essex, pleaded guilty at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court to soliciting women for prostitution on May 10 this year.
Yet the 60-year-old man today claimed his only crime was trusting people too much after he became emotionally involved with a prostitute in Ipswich's red light district who he claims ran off with £2,000 of his money.
The frail defendant, who suffers from a debilitating illness, initially pleaded not guilty but then changed his plea following discussions with his solicitor and magistrates.
He was given a conditional discharge for two years, ordered to pay costs of £45 and given a criminal anti-social behaviour order, which bans him from certain areas of Ipswich between 7pm and 7am. He was also warned not to approach or speak to any prostitutes.
The court heard yesterday that police watched Lawrence stop his car in Portman Road and a prostitute got in. He was arrested after the car came to a stop in a country lane near Wherstead.
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Mitigating for Lawrence, John Hughes, said: “This is a very sad matter. He is in a loveless marriage and also a very ill man. He has a short life expectancy due to kidney problems.
“The situation is somewhat convoluted. Lawrence has formed a meaningful relationship in the past with a woman who is well known to these courts.”
After the court hearing, Lawrence, who is originally from Ipswich, said he started visiting the area again about three years ago after a counsellor suggested he returned to places which made him happy and met the prostitute in one of the town's pubs, however he did not know she was a prostitute when he started seeing her.
Lawrence said: “I was over the moon. However many years I have got left, I thought at least I'll be happy. I am not a bad man. I'm too trusting, too believing-that is my downfall.
“We were going to rent a flat in Kesgrave and I gave her more than £2000 for that but then she vanished.”
On the day of the incident, he said he went to find out the truth about the woman and saw a girl, who he believed to be her friend and she got in the car to tell him the information he wanted to know.
He added: “It was a stupid thing to do but I was terrified I was going to get hurt. It is not a question of money but emotions. I thought I was finally going to have happiness in my life. There is still a feeling there for her.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Our message is a clear one. If men go out and seek prostitutes in their vehicle or on foot, they will be arrested.”
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n. See page 13 for update on prostitution clampdown.