We seem to be having a âprostituion specialâ today.
OXFORDâS âmost prolificâ prostitute has been banned from selling sex on the streets and in her home for five years.
It is not illegal to sell sex â why has this woman been âbannedâ from carrying out a legal activity? It is not illegal to accept money for a sex act carried out in your home â why has this woman been banned from carrying out a legal activity in her own home?
Drug addict Nicola Harris worked seven days a week along Cowley Road, East Oxford, and Oxford Road, Cowley, as well as seeing clients at her home in Costar Close in Littlemore.
âSeven days a weekâ â a hard working girl then, who has avoided the temptations of raising money to feed her drug habit illegally. Like stealing or shop-lifting. Now she has been banned from raising the money legally, guess what will happen next?
The 33-year-old, who had been subject to an interim Anti Social Behaviour Order since July 9, failed to turn up at Oxford Magistratesâ Court yesterday to hear the city councilâs successful application for a full order.
She was probably at work.
Complaints from local residents began last winter, and Harris was cautioned twice in December and arrested for soliciting in March.
Soliciting is different, that is illegal. What happened to the soliciting charge? Did you not manage to make it stick?
When out on the streets she would take men to Cowley Marsh Park and Agnes Court, off Oxford Road, where police and residents would frequently find used condoms, the court heard.
âUsed condomsâ? A girl who was mindful of her own health and that of her customers.
Pc Mike Dix told magistrates the mother-of-one lived a âvery chaotic and complicated lifestyleâ and would be out on the streets between about 9pm and 3am every night.
Doesnât sound a very chaotic lifestyle to me. Hard working, a caring attitude towards her customers â and gets to work on time on a regular basis.
He said: âShe would be walking down the street, openly looking around, often carrying a garment over her arm, which, Iâm informed, is a sign to customers that sheâs working.
A discrete trade sign, which even the local policeman needed to have decoded for him â hardly openly soliciting, is it?
âShe rarely denied being a prostitute, but often said âprove itâ or âcatch me in the actâ.
Here the rub â you couldnât could you? She had no more need to deny being a prostitute than you had to deny being a policeman. It is a perfectly legal occupation â heavens, youâll be complaining that she paid her tax on time next.
âOffences of prostitution are quite complicated because itâs not actually illegal to have sex for money, although the soliciting side of it is, and that can often be hard to prove.
Once again â you couldnât prove it could you?
âShe said even if she didnât necessarily have a drug problem she would continue to solicit with her current customers because itâs a lifestyle choice and she will always need the money.â
As is being a policeman a lifestyle choice. Your choice of words, Iâll bet not hers â âsolicit with her customersâ.
Asked about prostitution, Pc Dix replied: âItâs definitely not just Nicola. She is perhaps the most prolific and well known â her and one other, and we are dealing with the other.â
So you thought youâd make an example of her and prove to the other girls that when you decide that something is against the law, even if it isnât, youâll find a way to stop itâ¦â¦
Naeem Chudry, the councilâs antisocial behaviour investigator, said: âI wonât go so far as to say this is Oxfordâs red-light area. There are other sex workers in Oxford, a handful, and this is the main area in which they operate.â
A handful of girls, carrying out a legal activity in a discrete and caring manner âcanât have that can we? Is your name a clue as to why you want to stop Nicola being independent?
Asked why Harris was specifically targeted, Pc Andrew Reid said: âThere are probably about half a dozen other women in the area, but Nicola Harris is by far the most prolific.â
See above –
The court heard Harris lived with her drug-addict partner but her child was taken into care.
I bet you tried to get him on a pimping charge â and failed.
Chair of magistrates Stephen Eeley banned Harris from leaving her home between 9pm and 7am, selling sex at her home and going within a designated area around East Oxford and Cowley, except while travelling on a bus, until 2015.
A bansturbation special â Nicola is now banned from legitimately earning money. Unless she chooses to work from the back seat of the bus â and I hope she does!
Outside court, Saj Malik, the councilâs board member for safer communities, said Harris would be given access to drug rehabilitation and advice on housing, money and family matters.
And another one â is your name a clue Saj Malik? How is Nicola making the community unsafe? She already had access to drug rehabilitation if she wanted it â working seven days a week she could no doubt afford to finance it herself. She already has a house â the one you have just sought to ban her from working in. She did have money, she was working seven days a week, remember? What are the family matters you want to intervene in â youâve already done that, her child is in care, remember?