Male escort convicted of running a sex den

James Graham.

James Graham.

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A male escort who recruited an undercover cop to work as a prostitute has been found guilty of running a brothel.

James Graham was convicted by a Leeds Crown Court jury yesterday after about three-and-a-half hours of deliberation at the end of a four-day trial.

The 32-year-old will be sentenced at a later date.

During the trial, jurors were shown covert footage of a female officer meeting Graham, of Manor House Croft, Tinshill, at the flat above premises at Shaftsbury Parade in York Road in January 2010.

Arrangements were made for her to work as a prostitute.

That came a week after two undercover male officers visited the premises posing as punters. They paid £40 to a woman to have sex with one of them before making their excuses and leaving.

Officers attended the premises on another occasion and found Graham and another women.

The court heard that during police interview Graham had claimed: “I am a rent boy and she is a prostitute. I sell my body and I am not ashamed.”

He denied running a brothel and said he only worked as an escort.

During cross-examination he told the jury: “I sell my body as an escort. I have clients come around and I have sex for money. It’s not fantastic but that’s what I do.”

He denied the premises was a brothel but instead was a safe place for escorts to work rather than having to go on to the streets.

He added: “Just because it’s prostitution doesn’t mean that I am a pimp. It doesn’t mean that it’s a brothel and it doesn’t mean we are all on crack.”

Asked about the conversation with the female officer, he said: “I said ‘yes’, it was OK that she came. I did not think I was doing anything wrong. It’s only what I do. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”

Graham, wearing jeans and a black leather jacket, gave no reaction as he was found guilty.

The judge, Mr Recorder Gateshill, asked for pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be prepared before he passed sentence. He adjourned the case to a date yet to be fixed. Graham was released on unconditional bail.

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