A single mum who quit her low-paid job as a shop assistant has told how she hopes to fund her clever daughter’s Oxbridge dream – after turning to prostitution.
The 36-year-old became a sex worker after struggling to make ends meet for her four children.
She intends to use some of the money she has earned – working at Ray Telford’s former brothel on Bayswater Road, in Harehills, Leeds – to pay her daughter’s way through Oxford or Cambridge University.
“My eldest daughter is at grammar school, she’s a straight As student,” she said.
“She wants to go to Oxbridge and I want to do all I can to help. I’ve been able to pay for private tutors for my kids, they’re able to go on all the school trips they couldn’t go on before
“I couldn’t have dreamed of being able to provide those sort of opportunities before.”
The woman, whose children believe she is a home help for elderly people, was in an £800-a-month job up until about six years ago, but said she was getting behind on her bills and struggling to pay her mortgage.
“I couldn’t even afford nappies for my children,” she said.
“I had a friend who worked in sauna. She wasn’t a druggie, she wasn’t a drinker – she just wanted to make a better life for her little girl. She suggested it to me.”
Having worked in Harehills for the last three years, she said at times she was more like a “social worker” than a sex worker – and that she loved her job.
“There’s a guy who comes in who has been really badly burned in a house fire. He’s so badly disfigured that he’s not accepted by society.
“He said if it wasn’t for this place he’d have nowhere to go.
“He just wants a bit of love, just to feel normal.
“It’s the only job I’ve ever felt happy in.”
Mark Wakeling, director of the charity Beyond the Streets, said the woman’s experience was the exception to the rule.
He said: “We are concerned when we hear women like this talk about prostitution as empowering and enjoyable. The sad reality is that there are many, many women whose experience is one of exploitation, not empowerment.”