Ipswich prostitute guilty of soliciting

AN Ipswich prostitute told a court she was in a particular area of town for four hours at night shopping and looking for a pen and paper.

AN Ipswich prostitute told a court she was in a particular area of town for four hours at night shopping and looking for a pen and paper.

Laureta (Loretta) Johnson denied soliciting for the purposes of prostitution on August 27.

The 45-year-old of Stonelodge Lane West told the court she had got a lift to Handford Road at about 8pm to buy a can of strong lager from a shop in Surrey road. She said she had walked through Burlington Road and some back streets to the shop and then along London Road to Sainsbury's garage where she bought some tomatoes, onions and tobacco.

However, instead of walking straight home Johnson, who has a previous record for prostitution, walked along West End Road, Sir Alf Ramsey Way and Portman Road speaking to two men along the way.

She told police officers one man was a friend who lived in nearby flats and the other was a lorry driver she had known for a year.

Johnson said she asked him if he had a pen and paper so she could write down a telephone number she had just been given on her mobile telephone. She then followed the man to his lorry cab to get the pen and sat in his cab until her friend phoned her back with the number.

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South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard that when police officers approached the cab at almost midnight the curtains were drawn and when they knocked on the door the man was slow to open it. His shoes were undone and Johnson quickly handed over the telephone number to the officers as her alibi.

Marcus Croskell, prosecuting, said two condoms were found in Johnson's pocket along with a large amount of toilet tissue.

Magistrates' did not believe Johnson's story and found her guilty of the offence.

Johnson was conditionally discharged for 12 months and told to pay £200 towards court costs.

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