Sex worker avoids jail

A FORMER sex worker has avoided a jail term despite twice breaching an Anti Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) banning her from entering Ipswich's red light district.

A FORMER sex worker has avoided a jail term despite twice breaching an Anti Social Behaviour Order (Asbo) banning her from entering Ipswich's red light district.

Crack addict Della Wright was previously ordered not to visit the roads around Portman Road and Handford Road - a traditional haunt for vice girls - between 7pm and 7am.

However the 40-year-old was spotted by police in the area during the evening on March 9 and again on Thursday.

But Neil Saunders, mitigating, told South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court: “The chrysalis has cracked and hopefully a butterfly will emerge.”

Magistrates heard Wright had been given the Asbo in January for soliciting and that she had 127 previous convictions, largely for theft.

Mr Saunders told the court his client's offending was linked to her significant drug habit.

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However, he said she had engaged with support agencies and was gradually beating her addiction.

Mr Saunders said: “This does not happen overnight - it's a slow process.

“But she is keeping her appointments and she has kept her accommodation, which is unusual.”

Mr Saunders said Wright, of Wherstead Road, Ipswich, had not caused trouble on the occasions she was seen in the red light area.

He added: “Was there any harassment, alarm or distress caused? The simple answer is no. She was just there.”

Magistrates gave Wright a 20-week prison term suspended for six months and a six-month community order.

Chairman of the bench, Bernard Hines, said: “The bench appreciates the situation you find yourself in - it's not an easy path.

“But there seems to be a lack of understanding of the seriousness of the situation you face. Breaching an Asbo can have dire consequences.

“You are making progress and we want to encourage you.

“You have been offered a lot of help from a lot of people - you must accept it.”

Do you think progress is being made against prostitution in Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.