Liverpool man jailed for raping sex worker

A man has been jailed for nine years for raping a vulnerable sex worker in Liverpool.

Joseph Allan Smith, 38 years, formerly of Toxteth, was sentenced to nine years in prison with five years on extended licence on Wednesday, 20 December, after pleading guilty to the offence at Liverpool Crown Court.

It was reported on 17 January last year, Smith had assaulted her and then raped her on waste ground in Kensington.

Detective Inspector Rob Pritchard said, “This was a terrifying assault on the victim, and no one whatever their profession, should be subjected to such violence and abuse.

“I would like to praise the courage for the victim to report this crime to us, which has resulted in Smith now spending his time in prison to reflect on his actions.

“We carried out an extensive investigation which took some time to come to court, and throughout those months the victim remained supportive of the police investigation and was supported by The Red Umbrella Project.”

“Merseyside Police treat violence against sex workers as a hate crime, and this result shows that violence against women and girls will simply not be tolerated, whatever the circumstances.

“Incidents such as this are shocking and reprehensible, and it is never acceptable. We will work tirelessly to bring perpetrators to justice.”

Detective Inspector Pritchard added, “Merseyside Police work closely with partners including The Red Umbrella Project, to support people involved in sex work, selling sex and/or experiencing sexual exploitation to combat instances of violence and crimes against sex workers and bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We know that this is not an issue that the police can tackle alone which is why we work with our partners such as The Red Umbrella Project to develop and use all available tools and practices to encourage people to report this type of abuse and offer them assistance when they do.

“We work with numerous partner agencies to ensure safety that people involved in sex work is prioritised, and are safeguarded and support is in place from reporting the crime to bringing the case to court.”

Anyone with information on a sex offence can contact @MerPolCC, 101 or Crimestoppers UK, anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If someone is in immediate danger they should dial 999.

Image: Joseph Allan Smith/Merseyside Police

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