Belfast Telegraph

Suspended term for mother who sold her body to pay the bills

A Chinese mother who turned to prostitution to make ends meet has been freed on an 18-month suspended prison term.

Belfast Crown Court heard that a weeping 48-year-old Lei Wang was arrested in November 2008 during a police investigation into human trafficking. But as he suspended her jail term for 12 months, Belfast Recorder Tom Burgess accepted there was “absolutely no question” that Wang herself was involved in trafficking.

The court heard that when police raided her Edinburgh Street home in Belfast they seized over £24,000 and €1,500, and later impounded £78,000 in a bank account.

The Recorder said the agreed evidence established that on coming to Northern Ireland in April 2006 “she began working for herself in the sex industry”, and soon built up a large clientele.

Defence QC Patrick Lyttle said Wang's was a case were “there was no victim”.

Freeing her, Judge Burgess said reports described her as a devoted mother whose son needed her day-to-day attention. Wang, who has a clear record and has not reoffended, pleaded guilty to being concerned with prostitution and criminal property.

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