elrond

Hanna Morris is to be charged with managing a brothel or controlling prostitution

9 posts in this topic

Just received this. I am really upset, I though the police would have seen some sense after the recent Luton case, and the Bradford killings.

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On Wednesday 23 June, Hanna Morris is to be charged with managing a brothel or controlling prostitution for gain after she reported a serious attack. She faces up to seven years in prison.

Write or call Portia Ragnauth, Chief Prosecutor Surrey CPS. Ask why women's safety is being endangered in this way.

Ms Morris is available to be interviewed. Contact: English Collective of Prostitutes Tel: 020 7482 2496 Email: ecp@allwomencount.net

Last September, without hesitating, Ms Morris dialed 999 to report a serious attack into a flat used by her escort agency. Two identifiable men, one with a sawn-off shotgun up his sleeve, barged in, threw petrol about threatening to torch the premises and to hold the woman there against her will.

Ms Morris did all she could to help the police on the understanding that the information she gave would be used in the pursuit of the assailants. The attack was initially taken so seriously that helicopters and sniffer dogs were brought in, and the next door shopping precinct cordoned off. But within hours Ms Morris and her partner had been arrested; another colleague was subsequently arrested.

Nine months later, not only are Ms Morris and her colleagues being prosecuted, but the case against the violent assailants has been dropped. Ms Morris comments:

"It used to be rare that I would hear about robberies in the area, we worked as part of a close community and were always looking out for one another. Now there isn't a month that goes by when I'm not hearing that a place has been robbed or a girl attacked, it's becoming more and more common, and everyone is too scared to report it. There have been six robberies in the last two months, none of which were reported, and that's just those that I have heard about. It's really quite frightening."

We have told the CPS that by prosecuting sex workers who report attacks instead of their attackers, police and Crown Prosecution Service are making women more vulnerable. The Bradford and Ipswich murders took place after police crackdowns drove sex workers further underground and into more danger. Women didn't report attacks for fear of arrest and violent men knew they could act with impunity. Surrey has shockingly low conviction rates for reported rape - nearly half the already disgraceful national average rate of 6.5%.

They are also acting against public opinion, which has time and time again prioritised safety. The acquittal of Ms Claire Finch on 29 April is a clear example of that. Ms Finch was prosecuted because she worked together with other women, even though they were all consenting adults and no force or coercion was used. But the jury agreed that it was safer to work collectively and found her not guilty.

Why is Ms Morris being prosecuted? Is it proceeds of crime?

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 made brothel keeping a "lifestyle offence", prosecutable under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Raids and prosecutions have become profitable: the police keep 50% of any assets confiscated both during raids and 25% from subsequent prosecutions, with the Crown Prosecution Service keeping another 25% and the Inland Revenue the rest. Ms Morris's and her partner's home and assets have all been frozen. A substantial amount of cash put on one side to pay for income tax was taken in one of the police raids. No receipt was given.

The CPS is supposed to bear in mind the following considerations when prosecuting.

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I sincerely hope she opts for trial by jury, if that is an option.

To SB, the CPS is supposed to be acting in the public interest. I am the public. It is not in my interest. Prosecuting you is bloody ridiculous. This is sending out a message to say that walking around with a shotgun, and pouring petrol around with threats is not worth prosecuting, but running a parlour where girls should be safe is worth prosecuting. Utterly ludicrous. Any jury with common sense would find you not guilty and reprimand the CPS for wasting public funds.

This makes me angry.

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Utterly disgraceful. Will write to the CPS.

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i too hope a jury trial is planned

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The Surrey Police and the CPS should be totally ashamed of themselves and the coppers who lied to her should be publicly named and shamed to avoid every Surrey Policeman being potentially seen as a lying scumbag who will sacrifice anyone and anything in order to get an easy nick.

Not that I am making any assumptions here you understand............;):rolleyes:

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I sincerely hope she opts for trial by jury, if that is an option.

I think that she has said that she will be electing for trial by jury. She also said that there is an Abuse of Process hearing in the autumn.

I am disappointed in the CPS but wish you luck Sasha.

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The Surrey Police and the CPS should be totally ashamed of themselves and the coppers who lied to her should be publicly named and shamed to avoid every Surrey Policeman being potentially seen as a lying scumbag who will sacrifice anyone and anything in order to get an easy nick.

Not that I am making any assumptions here you understand............;):rolleyes:

If you think of the "audit trail" of what happened, and SB please correct me if I am wrong, the police who came to your call said they would turn a blind eye to your business, but would follow up on the attempted armed robbery.

Then the higher police at the station overturned what the beat policeman had said, and put the case to the CPS.

The CPS then studied the facts and decided to prosecute.

This to me shows the CPS are totally out of touch with public feeling. Mr Plod was probably only doing what he had to, he maybe has no powers of discretion, but the CPS have to think it is in the public interest to proceed.

Which is more a danger to the public, a man with a gun, and petrol, or a lady providing a premises for a WG to work safely? Surely a no-brainer.

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As apparently the lady in question is to be charged later today, the proceedings may be sub-judice according to an informed poster.

Thus we will close this thread for a while.

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Write or call Portia Ragnauth, Chief Prosecutor Surrey CPS. Ask why women's safety is being endangered in this way.

Elrond omitted the address details:

Portia Ragnauth

Surrey Chief Crown Prosecutor

Gateway

31 Power Close

Guildford GU1 1EJ

DX 122042 Guildford 10

portia.ragnauth@cps.gsi.gov.uk

Tel: 01483 468 200,

Direct line: 01483 468 205

Fax: 01483 468 282

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