Ipswich face of prostitution is jailed

A WOMAN who became the public face of prostitution in Ipswich is today behind bars after repeatedly falling foul of the law.Louise Heath became a regular face in the media following the killings of five sex workers in the town in December but a court has heard that the terrible events left her life in freefall.

A WOMAN who became the public face of prostitution in Ipswich is today behind bars after repeatedly falling foul of the law.

Louise Heath became a regular face in the media following the killings of five sex workers in the town in December but a court has heard that the terrible events left her life in freefall.

Heath, who freely spoke about life as a prostitute in the town as the world spotlight centred on Ipswich, was handed three eight week jail terms, to run concurrently, after she admitted breaching the conditions of a community supervision order.

When she appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court yesterday, her solicitor Dino Baricella told the magistrates December's events, which saw the bodies of Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Paula Clennell, 24, and Annette Nicholls, 29, found in rural locations near Ipswich, had affected her deeply.

But he said despite the trauma brought about by knowing the victims, Heath had complied with the requirements of her order.

However that changed when she was evicted from her home - a squat in Ipswich - leading her to live a “nomadic and chaotic” lifestyle floating between friends' houses which had made if difficult for her to comply with the Probation Service's requirements.

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Mr Barricella said: “She knew some of the girls. That caused her great anxiety and distress. Not withstanding those unprecedented difficulties she still complied with the order.

“People need stability with their accommodation to ensure they comply with their order. When living in a squat that did provide some stability.

“She had to come out of that address and since that time she has been 'sofa-surfing'. It is that nomadic lifestyle that has made her unable to comply with that order.”

The six-month community supervision order stemmed from a police search warrant which was executed at an address in Bramford Road, leading to a small quantity of heroin being found in a needle.

Heath admitted she had bought some heroin for £20 and the amount in the needle was what remained of it.

She was given a conditional discharge for possession of Class A drugs but had later also been sentenced for two low-value thefts.

She was subsequently given the supervision order, which she breached by failing to attend the appointments with Probation officers.

Magistrate Diana Hunt told her: “We are satisfied that only a custodial sentence can be justified because you have wilfully and persistently failed to comply with the order.”

Do you think supervision orders work? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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