Search

Ipswich: Pair who ran prostitution firm from a house in Ipswich are spared jail

PUBLISHED: 13:42 23 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:42 23 May 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

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.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

An Ipswich-based law firm said it is unlikely the coronavirus stamp duty holiday will be backdated to March, despite a growing campaign. Last week chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that property buyers would pay no stamp duty on homes worth less than £500,000. According to Birketts law firm, this means someone buying a house for £341,091 – the average price of a house in East Anglia – would save £7,054. Now, a national law firm, Simpson Millar, has called on the government to backdate this tax cut to the beginning of lockdown on March 31. Sarah Ryan, head of private client and conveyancing at the firm, said: “We of course welcome the plans announced to freeze the stamp duty costs on any property up to the value of £500,000 which will not only encourage potential buyers to move on and up the proverbial ladder, but will also help to retain jobs in the real estate sector. “However, there is no denying that for some, in particular those individuals, couples and families who have managed to complete on the purchase of their home either during lockdown, or in the immediate aftermath, this will come as a bitter blow.” A petition calling for the government to backdate the holiday even further has gained nearly 10,000 signatures. If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures the government has to respond and if the petition reaches 100,000 then a debate in parliament must be held. But Karl Pocock, partner and head of tax at Birketts, does not think the government is likely to make this move. He said: “Although there are calls for Rishi Sunak to backdate the reduced stamp duty rates to the start of lockdown, the Chancellor’s goal seems to be to galvanise the housing market now. As such, much as a backdated rate cut would be very welcome news for anyone that had completed on a property purchase prior to the change in stamp duty rates, it is, in our view, unlikely. “The various residential property teams at Birketts have seen a surge in transactions as lockdown restrictions were lifted. Much of this activity was existing transactions restarting. However, we expect that the reduction in stamp duty rates will provide a further, sustained, boost to this part of the economy in the short term.”