Three things about this sexual trafficking case

A Romanian couple have been jailed for trafficking a 14-year-old girl and other women into prostitution in the UK, in the first prosecution for child sex trafficking under the 2015 Modern Slavery Act.

First and only prosecution so far. It’s not a common crime then. We’re really not talking about those 100,000 Vietnamese birds in the nail bars.

In the case of the pair’s youngest victim, they “deliberately and callously stole her childhood,” she said.

The pair had operated in the UK since 2013 and lured the 14-year-old, one of nine siblings from a poor family, in 2016 after promising her a job as a waitress.

But on the night she arrived in the UK, she was told to change into “sexy” clothes and put on heavy makeup, because “she had the face of a child”, said Haughey.

Yes, vile, hang ’em. But do note our second thing. There doesn’t seem to be much of a market for child prostitutes if she’s got to look older, does there?

Others knew they would be working as prostitutes and were told they would share takings. But when they had arrived in the UK thye found themselves in debt bondage – told by the couple they owed money for their travel costs, as well as their “patch” of the street and rent in the flats they used in Paddington, west London. While the women could earn at least £250-300 a night, they were often given as little as £20-30 a day.

And that’s not trafficking, is it? It’s exploitation, most certainly, but it’s not trafficking.

As I an others have been saying all along we’ve no doubt at all that real trafficking does occur. Also that it’s vile, stamp on it. But a great deal, the vast majoirty in fact, of what is called trafficking just ain’t.

15 thoughts on “Three things about this sexual trafficking case”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Romanian? Nine siblings? Is it racism to think of long, fast, carnivorous fresh water fish?

    I can’t believe they could afford a flat in Paddington.

  2. Actually I think the point about the make up and clothing ON ARRIVAL is to get past the immigration officers.

    We have Romanian friends and the 14 year old daughter of one came over to visit us solo as an unaccompanied minor. I am waiting at Heathrow to collect her and get a call from the immigration officer who was keen to know how I knew the girl and some background detail. Clearly the call was about sex trafficking given her age and maturity.

    But it did occur to me that a Romanian trafficking a Romanian could have easily answered the questions as I did, and been more credible given the common nationality.

    Also given prosecutions take time to work their way through the system we might be seeing some more of these. Adverts for jobs in Western Europe for waitresses and the like abounded in the small ad section of Romanian newspapers. That and witches to curse your enemies or bless your life.

  3. I’m not sure the frequency of prosecution is relevant – how many FGM prosecutions have there been?

  4. I’m not sure the frequency of prosecution is relevant – how many FGM prosecutions have there been?

    I expect the CPS has a tick-box target for trafficking prosecutions.

  5. > And that’s not trafficking, is it?

    They’ve chosen to broaden the definition of that word.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

  6. “In a victim impact statement, the girl said: “I was forced to have sex continuously. Many times it was painful and I was disgusted.

    She said she lived in permanent fear and was told not to tell anyone her age or her real name. “They would swear at me and threaten me with violence. They would tell me that they are going to hurt my family and that they would set fire to the front of my door,” she said.”

    Set fire to her door?


    Think about your wives/daughters etc. If they took a job abroad in a civilised country (and who wants to travel across Europe to start a fine career as a waitress) and when they got there were told “Forget about coding (or whatever) –you’re working as a prossie” what would it require to force them to such a life style? Any minute they were not in immediate fear of death would be a minute to escape. Would they not have to be locked up or chained up every night? Could they be left on street corners to “work” without supervising and expensive muscle just yards away to avoid them doing a runner? What about calling home? If you don’t hear from them you would be over there in person within hours pestering the local Plod and looking for her yourself. This girl had to call home with a knife at her throat did she?

    Its bullshit. These Romis were importing prossies –one of whom was likely an early starter. Once the cops arrive and promise “No deportation” to rat out their bosses the rest follows like a shadow.

    And the CPS gets a tiny amount of the egg wiped off its face.

  7. Paddington, eh? Might this be a case of one set of foreigners pandering to another set of foreigners, no indigenous Brits involved?

    I can’t help wondering what the families get out of it. Why would you give away a nubile fourteen year old?

  8. @BiW: maybe, or maybe it’s just that 99% of FGM is historical, done back in the motherland and discovered here when the daughter available herself of the free medical care we offer?

  9. Legalising prostitution would get rid of much of the “trafficking”. Underground brothels catering to illegitimate tastes will still occur, of course, but they will struggle to compete with operations that are advertising openly and don’t have all the incidental costs of keeping things secret.

  10. When even the desperate refugees drowning in the Med have smartphones, and the girl was catering to toms at roughly £100 a time, the notion that she could not contact her family to complain of her plight is a bit… unbelievable.

  11. Is this a Gypsy thing? And if so, isn’t child prostitution part of their culture? I mean, who are we to judge, ya know?

  12. If you’ll excuse a smidgen of pendantry:

    @BiF Toms are the ladies of negotiable affection, not the clients

    Thomas Moore> whore

  13. @RlJ: The gypsies have already used them up at 14.

    It is disgusting that the media refer to these people as “Romanians” or “Hungarians” or, indeed, “people”.

    I’m not saying that Hitler did nothing wrong, but…

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