Sex worker spared jail as hammer attack house revealed as ‘brothel’

Sherise O'Brien, 29, of Devonshire Road, Mottingham, had pooled resources with two 17-year-old sex workers at a house in Portsmouth
Sherise O'Brien, 29, of Devonshire Road, Mottingham, had pooled resources with two 17-year-old sex workers at a house in Portsmouth
Haslemere Road. Picture: Google Maps

Girl, 17, touched over her clothing by man while walking late at night

A PROSTITUTE running a brothel where a 17-year-old sex worker was attacked with a hammer hoped to make thousands of pounds.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard Sherise O’Brien pooled resources with two teenage girls and was ‘running the show’ at the brothel in Shearer Road, Buckland.

But the operation unravelled when one of the girls, who cannot be named, was brutally attacked with a hammer by James Hemming.

He was later jailed for 12 years.

Martyn Booth, prosecuting O’Brien, said: ‘What was clear from the evidence that came out during the course of that investigation was that this defendant, who herself was operating as a sex worker, was using these premises to enable those two young teenagers to operate as sex workers.’

Judge Roger Hetherington sentenced O’Brien, 29, to a two-year prison sentenced suspended for two years.

‘You were the one in charge. You were the older one and you were doing it to make money for yourself and would have taken some cut from their activities although the prosecution haven’t been able to quantify it,’ judge Hetherington said.

He added: ‘You no doubt for the rest of you life will feel a sense of responsibility.’

The judge said case ‘underlined the dangers inherent in the sex trade’.

O’Brien admitted keeping a brothel used for prostitution.

She admitted the charge on the basis she did not recruit or coerce the girls, had pooled resources with them, they were helping each other out and she thought the girls, 17, were over 18.

Condom wrappers, ropes and handcuffs were found in a bedroom used with clients.

Diaries found at the home kept details of visits by clients to the brothel.

Messages found on a phone in O’Brien’s bedroom and a phone linked to Hemming reveal ‘an arrangement for Hemming to come to that address in order to pay for sex,’ Mr Booth said.

The hammer attack victim suffered life-changing head injuries in the assault.

Mr Booth added O’Brien could not have foreseen the attack.

O’Brien kept notes of hoping to open a modelling agency and dreamed of making ‘hundreds of thousands’ at the brothel.

But Mr Booth said this might show her naivety as the money made was likely to be ‘utterly negligible’.

Photos of the girls were sent to clients, with O’Brien ‘running the show’.

Nicholas Barraclough, for O’Brien, of Devonshire Road, Mottingham, said: ‘Three girls effectively working together in the sex trade, this isn’t a large-scale commercial operation, the defendant was clearly doing it for money.’

O’Brien must pay £1,000 costs and complete 20 days of rehabilitation activities.