A HANDYMAN accused of controlling child prostitutes told a jury yesterday Tuesday) he was unaware his home was being used for prostitution. John Dunsmore, from Huntingdon, admitted working with female escorts but only away from his own premises. He said a
A HANDYMAN accused of controlling child prostitutes told a jury yesterday Tuesday) he was unaware his home was being used for prostitution.
John Dunsmore, from Huntingdon, admitted working with female escorts but only away from his own premises.
He said an 18-year-old co-worker knew "damn well" he did not want any such work taking place in his flat in Suffolk House, Mayfield Road, as it was his home where his children visited. The 49-year-old also denied allowing a co-worker's 14-year-old sister to prostitute herself.
Giving evidence at Peterborough Crown Court, Mr Dunsmore said he firmly told the 14-year-old she was "not going to do any work".
Asked by his barrister, Sally Hobson, if the 14-year-old had worked - as the teenager had told the court - when a client was kept waiting for her older sister, Mr Dunsmore replied: "No, absolutely not. It sounds a little bit absurd really, but it certainly didn't happen."
He said he had never discussed anything of a sexual nature with the 14-year-old.
"She has never, never worked for me. I certainly would not even encourage anyone that age to be around that sort of thing, let alone working."
Mr Dunsmore said he worked with the girl's older sister as a team.
Explaining entries found in diaries and notepads seized by the police during a raid at his flat on December 1, Mr Dunsmore said he did not recognise some of the handwriting. He said he was unhappy that his teenage colleague was making appointments and plans he knew nothing about.
"She seemed to have the impression it was her business and she wanted to be top dog, as it were. I was not running the business like that. It was more casual. I had never any intention of running it for any length of time. It was a stopgap until I got over my illness and it seemed she was taking it far more seriously than I was."
He claimed there were entries in various books that he had known "absolutely nothing about". He said at that stage it had crossed his mind that his flat may have been used for jobs, but when he confronted the girl, she became evasive and stormed out.
He also denied that a 17-year-old, who the court heard had responded to his advertisement for escorts in a local newspaper, had ever done a job.
Mr Dunsmore denies keeping a brothel at his flat and two counts of controlling children involved in prostitution or pornography.
The charges relate to a 14-year-old and a 17-year-old, who were said to work as escort girls from his flat between August and December last year.
The court heard that the 14-year-old's older teenage sister had responded to a local newspaper advertisement for an escort service which wanted to recruit staff. The older girl, a mother-of-two, said she worked the first night she visited Suffolk House and would see up to six men a night there.
She told the court she knew what would be required of her and thought the term escort was "a nice way of putting it".
A third teenager, who also answered a newspaper advertisement, said she first met Mr Dusmore at a bar in Huntingdon town centre. She originally told him she was 18, she said, but her real age of 17 later "came up in conversation somehow".
She told the court she worked on just one night, when she saw two clients, but was "not very happy" and never did it again.
Miss Hobson put it to her that as far as her client was aware the girl did not undertake any work of a sexual nature at Suffolk House.
The teenager replied: "That would be untrue as he was there."
The trial continues.