Melon Farmers Unrated

Sheila Farmer

Sex worker persecuted for trying to work safely


Update: Complex Social Phenomena...

Amnesty International speaks against Northern Ireland proposals to criminalise buyers of sex

Link Here26th May 2014
Full story: Sheila Farmer...Sex worker persecuted for trying to work safely

Amnesty International has urged Northern Ireland's politicians to ditch plans to criminalise the purchasing of sex. The human rights organisation wants a clause contained in a bill against human trafficking to be excised because it argues it would create a hierarchy of criminal liability among sex workers.

Clause six of the bill would make it a criminal offence to buy, but not sell, sex and is based on Sweden's repressive model. Lord Morrow, a Democratic Unionist member of the Stormont assembly who also sits in the House of Lords, has been trying to force the bill through the devolved parliament.

Amnesty stressed it was not taking sides on the debate over sex work and prostitution, but said sex work and human trafficking were two very complex social phenomena that required different laws. Grainne Teggart, Amnesty's Northern Ireland campaigner, said:

We recommend that our political parties remove clause six from the bill and that planned research into sex work by the Department of Justice is used to inform future policy, which should establish the degree to which legislation -- together with educational, social, cultural and other measures -- could serve to reduce the demand that fuels trafficking, including for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

It is claimed this clause will help protect sex workers by shifting the criminal liability away from them as the seller of sexual services, to the purchaser. In reality, it fails to do this and provides no exploration of, or guarantees against, the potential unintended consequences of such a move. It is clear that many others, including the police, share our concerns on the risk of potential negative effects.

In effect, clause six would introduce a hierarchy of criminal liability amongst those engaged in the selling of sexual services, many of whom may be vulnerable, with some remaining at risk of prosecution and others not.


17th January

Update: Disgraceful Policing...

Encouraging violent gangs to prey on sex workers

A series of gang attacks on brothels in east London has triggered calls for changes to the prostitution laws after victims who reported knifepoint robberies said they ended up being threatened with prosecution.

A police investigation has been launched as senior Labour and Conservative members of the London assembly and the English Collective of Prostitutes allege that violent crime is being given a lower priority than less serious sex offences.

What is said by sex workers to be a spate of robberies -- involving cash and jewellery -- coincides with an increase in police raids on east London addresses being used as brothels before the 2012 London Olympics.

The first address targeted was in Barking, east London, on 6 December. A video showing five men apparently breaking into another house in the area being used by sex workers is also being studied by police. The women who made the first complaint allege they recognise some of the gang members from the YouTube clip.

In a third attack, at a different address, a woman who worked as a maid at a brothel is alleged to have been raped by the gang. None of the victims there reported the offence for fear of being charged by police with living off the proceeds of prostitution; the police say they are so far unaware of this incident.

The ECP said changes to the law, in response to fears over the forcible trafficking of foreign sex workers into Britain, have made it more difficult for women to work together in houses for safety.

A letter of complaint sent by Niki Adams, a leading ECP activist who works with Legal Action for Women, to the borough police commander in Barking last month, said the way the investigation into the first incident had been pursued had discouraged sex workers from reporting attacks .

...Read the full article

Offsite: Other Examples are the cases of Hannah Morris and Sheila Farmer

See  article from

In 2009, two men barged into a Woking flat with what appeared to be sawn-off shotguns. They poured petrol over the floors and furniture and threatened to torch the property. The flat itself was used by Cloud Nine, a small escort agency run by Hanna Morris, her partner, and a female friend. Ms Morris immediately called the police. The street was cordoned off and sniffer dogs deployed. Convinced that the attackers were now on their way to one of the two other premises used by the agency, Ms Morris provided the addresses to Surrey Police. These were later used as evidence against her. The investigation against the attackers was dropped and Ms Morris and her partner were charged with managing a brothel. They both received 12 month suspended jail sentences, were made to work a combined total of 420 hours of unpaid labour and lost their home and life savings.

Rapists and other violent men often target sex workers assuming they cannot call the police.

90% of rapists go free, the organisation Women Against Rape said afterwards. Prosecuting Hannah Morris who tried to bring two violent men to justice is perverse. Rapists and other violent men often target sex workers assuming they cannot call the police. If sex workers are denied the protection of the law, this vulnerability is magnified. The CPS and police should prosecute rapists, not victims.

Ms Morris' solicitor, Nigel Richardson of Hodge, Jones and Allen agreed: is hard to see how a prosecution in this case can do anything but make would-be attackers more confident in their actions and increase the dangers for working women. The words in Richardson's letter to the CPS have become all the more prevalent in cases recorded since: The prosecution of this offence is likely to directly discourage the reporting of crimes against potentially vulnerable women and thus increase risks to their safety.

...Read the full article


16th January

 Offsite: Reprehensible Policing...

Why prostitutes are living in a climate of fear

See article from


7th October

Updated: Reprehensible Policing...

Sheila Farmer speaks about her persecution for sex work

June 11 was the London slut walk, Niki Adams from the English Collective of Prostitutes condemns the UK laws and the police for the danger prostitutes are put in. Shelia Farmer also speaks from personal experience on what happens to us when we work together for safety. We can end up going to prison, loose all all earnings for the last 7 years through the proceeds of Crime Act. Changes to the law brought about by the Labour Government have exacerbated the problem allowing brothels to be closed quickly and POCA to be used against us.

The Proceeds of Crime Act was designed to recover earnings from serious crime. It is now used to recover earnings from us, mothers and women providing consensual sexual services working together. The money recovered is split between the police, the CPS and the state. This encourages the police to target prostitutes as an easy money earning exercise. This along with a general state hatred of us and pressure to criminalise our clients has forced us to work more circumspectly and never to trust the persons in blue.

Where are our human rights to work together in safety? What other job forces you to work alone?

...See the video

No word yet of what actually happened at the trial scheduled for September though.

Update: Trial Delayed

11th November 2011. See  article from

Sheila Farmer's trial is now set for 3rd January 2012.


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