Edinburgh Brothel: ‘Police came in as customers’

Helen Kinnon. Picture: Julie Bull

Helen Kinnon. Picture: Julie Bull

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THE trial heard from prostitutes about their work for the agency – the prices they charged, the demands they faced, and even who their clients were behind closed doors.

Many were mothers, some had worked for years in the sex trade, others turned to the agency when they fell on hard times.

Vikki Harkness. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON

Vikki Harkness. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON

One, Vikki Harkness, revealed how police officers had been among the customers she once had when she worked at a city sauna.

The 35-year-old mother-of-four said she had previously worked for 11 years at the now-defunct Fingertips sauna in Foutainbridge, as a receptionist and prostitute.

Asked by Margaret Paterson’s advocate, Edward Targowski QC, whether police came to the sauna to check the premises, Ms Harkness smiled broadly.

Mr Targowski asked: “You’re smiling, why are you smiling?”

Kellie Anne Bolton. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON

Kellie Anne Bolton. Picture: PHIL WILKINSON

Ms Harkness replied: “Quite a few police officers came in as customers.”

Ms Harkness said she left the agency after an argument with Paterson, known as Trish.

She said: “I did not like the people she was employing. They were junkies, clearly. Trish was shouting at me on the phone. I did not like the way that she was speaking to me so I just walked. She was just being aggressive.”

Another vice girl, Kellie Ann Bolton, 31, said that she started working for the agency in August 2009 after working “on and off” at a sauna for four years.

Asked why she was working as an escort, she replied: “Because I was a drug addict. I wasn’t always. I started being one and then it was a vicious circle. I needed the money. I couldn’t get a normal job.”

Working under the name “Collette”, the mother-of-one had topless photographs taken by Robert Munro to put up on the agency website to “to get more bookings and possibly more money”.

Ms Bolton said that three-
quarters of clients wanted sex.

She added: “Some clients didn’t want that, they just wanted the ­companionship. Mainly it’s sex but you do get the odd customer who doesn’t want it. I preferred that, just getting paid for talking.

“We would be given the gentleman’s name and address or hotel, and if he didn’t want us to smoke or wanted us to wear certain things, or dress classy, or wear big earrings, or your hair up.”

Ms Bolton said that she averaged “maybe four calls a night”, and earned £600 to £700 a week.

She added: “If you’re not having sex then the guys won’t book you. If they want to have sex I do it because they have given me a large sum of money.”

Helen Kinnon started working for the agency in August 2011 as “Mikaela”, and had been there just weeks when the police raided the premises. The 27-year-old said: “I got into quite a lot of debt so that was the solution for me.

“I Googled it online and the agency came up so I phoned them and asked if they were looking for anyone. I thought I would be wined and dined, go out to hotels. I knew there would be more than that, I knew that sex was part of it.”

After joining the agency, the mother-of-two said she would have up to five clients a night.

She added: “I would sometimes have a couple of drinks for Dutch courage and then go.

“It was stranger’s houses. I was only working once or twice a week. I was finding it hard to get a babysitter most nights.”