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Melanieabz

Scotland Sex Traffickers Jailed

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A man and woman from Scotland have been jailed for a total of almost five years for trafficking men and women into prostitution across the UK.

Stephen Craig, 34, and Sarah Beukan, 22, admitted moving 14 men and women to addresses in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle.

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A man and woman from Scotland have been jailed for a total of almost five years for trafficking men and women into prostitution across the UK.

Stephen Craig, 34, and Sarah Beukan, 22, admitted moving 14 men and women to addresses in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle.

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This sentence is too short in my view. They will be out in 2 years or so to start all over again.

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As so often, this story blurs the distinction between trafficking and coercion, and from the article itself, it's unclear whether any coercion did take place at all. However, there's a link at the bottom to a further article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-14857004

and that article certainly does suggest that some rather nasty coercion was involved. If so, then this couple deserve everything they get.

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As so often, this story blurs the distinction between trafficking and coercion, and from the article itself, it's unclear whether any coercion did take place at all. However, there's a link at the bottom to a further article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-14857004

and that article certainly does suggest that some rather nasty coercion was involved. If so, then this couple deserve everything they get.

Here is the full text of the Herald's article (hides behind a wall, I think, so I don't post a link):

Scots legal first as couple jailed for human trafficking

  • a>

  • kingpin: Stephen Craig was jailed for more than three years for running the trafficking network, while his girlfriend Sarah Beukan was jailed for a year and a half. Pictures: PA

Brian Donnelly and Vicky Allan

blank.gif

4 Oct 2011

A VICE gang boss and his girlfriend have been jailed for a total of four years and 10 months in Scotland’s first human trafficking conviction.

Stephen Craig, 34, was jailed for three years and four months for arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for 14 women and men.

His co-accused, Sarah Beukan, 22, was jailed for a year and a half for her part in the human trafficking network operated by Craig.

The “despicable” pair admitted at an earlier hearing to moving people to various addresses including those in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff and Newcastle to work as prostitutes.

The victims, including at least two students, were moved around the UK to work at all of the premises.

Craig and Beukan would advertise the services in newspapers and online, and took a cut from their wages.

Craig, from Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, and Beukan, from Leith in Edinburgh, pled guilty under Section 22 of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 at Glasgow Sheriff Court on September 9.

Passing sentence at Glasgow Sheriff Court yesterday, Sheriff Cathcart told Craig and Beukan there was no alternative to custody.

He said they had “exerted control, direction or influence” over the movements of the women, but accepted “no pressure or force or threat” was directed at any of the victims.

He went on: “I also accept that none of those individuals were new to prostitution.

“But the gravity of this offence means the only appropriate way of dealing with you is a period in custody.”

The operation began to crumble when police searched a property in Clyde Street in Glasgow in June last year after a high number of men had been seen visiting it. A Bolivian woman was found to have been working at the brothel as well as a pre-operative transgender female from the UK. Craig and Beukan had been running four brothels in Glasgow, at Argyle Street, Wallace Street and Newton Terrace, as well as the one at Clyde Street.

They also ran a brothel in Aberdeen, at James Street, and one in Queens Square, Belfast.

In total, 23 witnesses were identified, including women working as prostitutes from Brazil, Bolivia, Nigeria, Fife, Glasgow, Inverness, Airdrie and elsewhere in the UK.

There was no evidence they had trafficked foreign nationals to the UK.

Two properties were used in Edinburgh for about a week at a time at the Cowgate and Grassmarket.

Two of the witnesses were found to be university students, working in the brothels to pay off debts.

In Craig’s defence, Murdo MacLeod, QC, said the victims “all were free to come and go as they wished, many did”.

Beukan’s defence advocate Paul Brown told the court she had done well at school and had no problems with drugs or alcohol. He said: “What she does have is a totally shared experience with the complainers in this case.”

He said she lived off only her own earnings as a prostitute and had not made money through the other women’s work.

Detective Inspector Stephen Grant, from Strathclyde Police, said: “These despicable individuals took advantage of desperate and vulnerable people and were willing to trade misery for profit.”

Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, QC, said: “This is a landmark conviction for human trafficking in Scotland and represents the success of close working between police and prosecutors across the UK.”

John Lamont, Scottish Tory Justice spokesman, said: “These crimes are abhorrent. They are an affront to decency. I am sure most right minded people would consider that there is no excuse.”

A spokesman for Glasgow Community and Safety Services, which supported victims, said: “Trafficking is an issue of growing concern in Scotland and we welcome the sentences passed down.”

"Victims" ? This seems to have been entirely within the UK, so trafficking only in the legal sense, but not what Joe Public understands by the word. My gut heaves, but at the hypocricy of the Lord Advocate, his Tory "friend" and, worse yet, the feminazis of GCSS.

While I, personally, see nothing wrong with those who get a Uniiversity education which leads to improved earning prospects paying for it, I do also say that if "students" find that they need to go on the game to pay off their debts, then, perhaps, this suggests that the grant / student loan system needs to be looked at again!

Edited by Irgendeiner

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i'm often suspicious when sex trafficking is mentioned in a brothel case,its all too easy to fall for the sensationalist headlines but very often the sex trafficking turns out to be voluntary

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I've read the 3 articles and see no trafficking nor coercion. But they were certainly not the nicest "bosses" as a few ex-employees are willing to declare against them.

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This sentence is too short in my view. They will be out in 2 years or so to start all over again.

As so often, this story blurs the distinction between trafficking and coercion, and from the article itself, it's unclear whether any coercion did take place at all. However, there's a link at the bottom to a further article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...otland-14857004

and that article certainly does suggest that some rather nasty coercion was involved. If so, then this couple deserve everything they get.

Well it says quite clearly in the article that they took £30 from a half hour booking (£90 per half hr so 33%) and £40 from a one hour booking (£150p/h so slightly over 25%). That's fairly industry standard from what I understand. The women were certainly not slaves from the information in the article. They trafficked them in the sense they "facilitated the travel of a prostitute" in order to commit a relevant offence, or in the knowledge that someone else would commit a relevant offence (such as keeping a brothel etc). No slavery or coercion required.

Nothing in the article to suggest there was any actual victim. Except the use of the word "trafficking" which is misunderstood by most people.

Edited by punter992005

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Most massage agencies I know or places I've worked in the past (before I went indie) kept 50% of my earnings. Deal was: they provided me with clients plus and and incall location. Pretty fair and Industry standard (at least in the US). Unless I'm missing something I see no coercion here.

It does look like their crime falls into the cathegory of human trafficking as they indulged in "the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation".

The point is: if I send my employees to other cities selling stuff on commission I'm fine. If that "stuff" happens to be sex I would be a "human trafficker" then (even if everybody is doing it voluntarily).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking

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Well it says quite clearly in the article that they took £30 from a half hour booking (£90 per half hr so 33%) and £40 from a one hour booking (£150p/h so slightly over 25%). That's fairly industry standard from what I understand. The women were certainly not slaves from the information in the article. They trafficked them in the sense they "facilitated the travel of a prostitute" in order to commit a relevant offence, or in the knowledge that someone else would commit a relevant offence (such as keeping a brothel etc). No slavery or coercion required.

Nothing in the article to suggest there was any actual victim. Except the use of the word "trafficking" which is misunderstood by most people.

Yes, I quite agree. That's why I linked to the earlier BBC article, which includes the claim that "Craig and Beukan exploited their victims in the most appalling manner using threats of violence and intimidation to control them". If that's true - IF - then certainly it falls under the heading of coercion.

Of course, the more extensive article that Irgendeiner has now posted paints a rather different picture, and indeed I'd say it flat-out contradicts the above quotation and looks a lot more reliable.

(Of course in theory, if the TARA spokeswoman simply made up the bit about "threats of violence and intimidation", then Craig and Beukan would probably be entitled to sue for libel. Can't really see it happening in practice, however - I'm sure it would be extremely difficult for a couple that has just been convicted to mount such a case.)

Edited by Beauregard

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Well it says quite clearly in the article that they took £30 from a half hour booking (£90 per half hr so 33%) and £40 from a one hour booking (£150p/h so slightly over 25%). That's fairly industry standard from what I understand. The women were certainly not slaves from the information in the article. They trafficked them in the sense they "facilitated the travel of a prostitute" in order to commit a relevant offence, or in the knowledge that someone else would commit a relevant offence (such as keeping a brothel etc). No slavery or coercion required.

Nothing in the article to suggest there was any actual victim. Except the use of the word "trafficking" which is misunderstood by most people.

Had a chat with someone with first hand involvement in the case and apparently there was some slavery and physical abuse involved in some of the cases.

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they both should have got 10 yrs..why women always get less time for the same thing i dont know ?

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Difficult to feel much for the guy, he revelled in his hard man image, as for the girl, she was probably infatuated, she certainly didnt seem to have enjoyed any of the profits. The point of the case seems to be, fly under the radar, keep the operation small, and be very nice to your staff. Dont go about threatening to pour a kettle of boiling water down their throats.

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Had a chat with someone with first hand involvement in the case and apparently there was some slavery and physical abuse involved in some of the cases.

With respect, your comment is a bit vague. While I understand you may wish to protect sources or people's identity, it would seem little more than an unsupported allegation that was not accepted by the court.

"A police debriefing described how one witness said Craig had threatened to “pour boiling water down her throat”. But last Monday, based on the facts provided to him by the Crown, the presiding sheriff stated that there was no “pressure, force or threat” on the women. Rather, the pair pled guilty to, and were convicted of, arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for around 15 prostitutes."

There could have been all sorts of reasons fro someone to make such a statement, only one of them being that it was the truth.

There is much about the case that cannot be determined. What can be determined however is that the public perception of what the law means by trafficking is very different to what it actually means.

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There is much about the case that cannot be determined. What can be determined however is that the public perception of what the law means by trafficking is very different to what it actually means.

Too bloody right mate!

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With respect, your comment is a bit vague. While I understand you may wish to protect sources or people's identity, it would seem little more than an unsupported allegation that was not accepted by the court.

"A police debriefing described how one witness said Craig had threatened to “pour boiling water down her throat”. But last Monday, based on the facts provided to him by the Crown, the presiding sheriff stated that there was no “pressure, force or threat” on the women. Rather, the pair pled guilty to, and were convicted of, arranging travel, accommodation and advertising for around 15 prostitutes."

There could have been all sorts of reasons fro someone to make such a statement, only one of them being that it was the truth.

There is much about the case that cannot be determined. What can be determined however is that the public perception of what the law means by trafficking is very different to what it actually means.

The Sheriff was commenting on evidence provided to him, this does not mean that there was no intimidation etc, remember they both pled guilty, In the current slavery case in England, half of the slaves decided to go home, without assisting the prosecution. I am satisfied that this duo give the sex industry a bad name, and he is where he belongs.

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The Sheriff was commenting on evidence provided to him, this does not mean that there was no intimidation etc, remember they both pled guilty, ...

Not even "evidence", which is given, subject to cross-examination, by a witness on oath; when the accused pleads (here in Scotland, is pleaded by his mouthpiece) guilty, the prosecutor gives the sentencer "the facts" on which he constructs the sentence(s). A "plea bargain" frequently involves bargaining as to exactly what "facts" will be given, down to a draft prepared by the accused's counsel, amended by the prosecutor, re-amended, re-drafted and finally agreed, with the defence carefully checking that the prosecutor reads the agreed text verbatim.

One needs to try to "understand" that the CPS / Fiscal Service, like the rest of government, are short of people and money. If accepting a guilty plea to the headline charges, but with favourable "facts" will save a three week trial, this is a bargain. If a guilty plea is offered, in court, but the facts are not agreed then a "Newton" hearing (in England&Wales - presumably something similar here in Scotland, but I don't know) has to be held with some witnesses, and expenditure of time & money, so in so many cases the ball actually is in the criminal's court, although, of course, the real sting comes later with POCA!

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Great explanation, and shows up many shortcomings. English law is not necessarily much better though - often they will come to the decision they want to even if the process is less than logical. The famous Spanner case (consenting gay men nailing each other's foreskins to a bloomin' plank) had many aspects which were unsavoury but not made material to the sentencing - which consequently looked out of order in that they were seemed to be convicted on a technicality that defied common sense.

In answer to Pooter, it may well be that they were a nasty pair - but it seems unsatisfactory that they were convicted for relatively harmless (if politically expedient) actions rather than threats and coercion.

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Remember al capone was jailed for tax evasion. Final point, girl comes to edinburgh to work in sex industry, family thinks she is doing something else. She gets caught up in a court case, she testifies, gets name in paper, catastrophe all round, or does she take the hit, says nothing, goes home no one the wiser. Thats before she considers the risk to life and limb, by testifying. I am not saying the guy was another Kray, but anything that discourages the wrong types is a good thing in my book.

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