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NEWS EXTRA: Prostitutes in Torbay beaten and earning £2.50

Torquay's Castle Circus in the town centre

The Breeze has been given exclusive access to a new support service for prostitutes in Torbay following a reported rise in the number of 'working girls' in the area.

At least 30 are now getting help to turn their lives around.

Many are working without protection and facing regular beatings by clients, sometimes criminal gangs.

One woman is earning £2.50 a time and the oldest working girl in Torbay is 73 years old.

Candice, 45, a drug addict who grew up in Torquay was put on the game when she was just nine.

In a very emotional and powerful interview (below), she bravely told The Breeze: "My mum punted me out when I young yeah.

Made me do everything from people's shopping to sexual favours, things like that.

"People would come to the house and I would have to sit on their knee."

Ellie Waugh from the charity Humanity Torbay, which is behind the new support service, has described the rise in sex workers they're seeing in the area as 'shocking'.

She said: "They are telling us that they've been beaten up by clients.

"They are having gangs attack them as well, and it is very worrying.

"We've had girls turn up in here and we have sought medical treatment for them and taken them to the hospital after they've been beaten up.

"We think there's a much bigger rise in prostitution than people are aware of."

Ellie believes two new escort agency have recently opened in the bay, which has attracted more women into the industry.

She says many women are 'hidden' and working in hotels or on boats, rather than walking the streets.

She said: "I was absolutely horrified when one of the girls said to me that she charges £2.50.

"I said that's not even a cup of tea or a cup of coffee."

"I think as a charity we have responsibility to let people know the truth of what the real issues are in Torbay and to help and support where we can. 

"I received a call to say one of our clients had been beaten to a pulp by someone using her as a escort. She was in a bad way and refusing to report it. 

"The terrible thing is this lady is in her sixties she has been a escort since she was 10 years old. 

"I know Humanity's posts make uncomfortable reading sometimes but the truth needs to be out there and things like this happen all over the country but I'm so upset because at humanity we are involved because this lady visits us and talks to us and eats with us and laughs with us and cries with us .

"She is somebody's grandma somebody's mum, sister aunt. 

"All her family have moved away and she has no one I suppose what I'm trying to say is this is one of the tragic stories we deal with and it doesn't get any easier. 

"But just being there for someone however small makes such a difference to their lives. 

"Community is the key sharing and caring and Torbay is good at this."

For more about the work of Humanity Torbay click here

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